Towing Vehicles from Residential Property
Abandoned or unauthorized vehicle’s on residential rental property is a common problem for property owners and residents. Even more so for commercial properties! Not only can these vehicles often interfere with residents’ own parking privileges, they are also extremely unattractive, lowering property values. Abandoned and inoperable vehicles can also present a hazard to small children who can be trapped or injured when playing in or around the cars. The law allows property owners, their agents, (i.e., security or staff) and/or persons in lawful possession of the property (i.e., the tenant) to authorize the tow of vehicles from the property. Specific procedures must be followed before and after doing so. Here’s an overview.
What owners can and cannot do:
A rental property owner, his/her agent, or a person in lawful possession of the property (i.e., the tenant) may cause the removal of a vehicle parked on the property as long as they follow CA Vehicle Code 22658. The following applies to any vehicle removed from private property:
22658.(a) The owner or person in lawful possession of private property, including an association of a common interest development as defined in Section 1351 of the Civil Code, may cause the removal of a vehicle parked on the property to a storage facility that meets the requirements of subdivision (n) under any of the following circumstances:
(1) There is displayed, in plain view at all entrances to the property, a sign not less than 17 inches by 22 inches in size, with lettering not less than one inch in height, prohibiting public parking and indicating that vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense, and containing the telephone number of the local traffic law enforcement agency and the name and telephone number of each towing company that is a party to a written general towing authorization agreement with the owner or person in lawful possession of the property. The sign may also indicate that a citation may also be issued for the violation.
(2) The vehicle has been issued a notice of parking violation, and 96 hours have elapsed since the issuance of that notice.
(3) The vehicle is on private property and lacks an engine, transmission, wheels, tires, doors, windshield, or any other major part or equipment necessary to operate safely on the highways, the owner or person in lawful possession of the private property has notified the local traffic law enforcement agency, and 24 hours have elapsed since that notification.
(4) The lot or parcel upon which the vehicle is parked is improved with a single-family dwelling.
So what does this mean?
This means for a towing company to remove a vehicle from private property, they must meet the requirements of subdivision (n), and one of the following circumstances MUST exist:
- They have an approved sign posted at all entrances to the property
- A parking citation has been issued for at least 96 hours
- The vehicle lacks a major equipment, preventing safe operation on a highway
- Property is improved by a single-family dwelling
What you have seen is a brief look into vehicle code 22658. We will explore 22658 in-depth later on. For now, let’s see some of the more common questions and answers people are asking.
Now that we have answered some of the more common towing questions, please check out or page for an in-depth look into cvc22658 to answer any further questions.