If your vehicle is towed from or booted or charged a drop fee at an apartment complex, condominium, HOA or a business parking lots and the release documents from the vehicle storage facility, tow or booting company states: “No Parking Permit“, “Double Parked“, “Parked Over The Line“, Not Parked Between the Lines“, “Parked on the Line“, Expired Parking Permit“, “Expired Guest Parking Permit“, “Parked On Red Curb/Line“, “Backed In Space“, or “Parked on Grass” your in luck to collect $1000 plus three times what you pay, whether you might be towed, charged a drop or boot fee from whoever the authorizing party might be.
Regardless what the tow sign may state your vehicle is subject to be towed for, if the sign includes what is stated above, your vehicle has been wrongfully towed per State Law.
(a) The owner or operator of a vehicle may not leave unattended on a parking facility a vehicle that:
(1) is in or obstructs a vehicular traffic aisle, entry, or exit of the parking facility;
(2) prevents a vehicle from exiting a parking space in the facility;
(3) is in or obstructs a fire lane marked according to Subsection (c);
(4) does not display the special license plates issued under Section 504.201, Transportation Code, or the disabled parking placard issued under Chapter 681, Transportation Code, for a vehicle transporting a disabled person and is in a parking space that is designated for the exclusive use of a vehicle transporting a disabled person; or
(5) is leaking a fluid that presents a hazard or threat to persons or property.
(c) If a government regulation governing the marking of a fire lane applies to a parking facility, a fire lane in the facility must be marked as provided by the regulation. If a government regulation on the marking of a fire lane does not apply to the parking facility, all curbs of fire lanes must be painted red and be conspicuously and legibly marked with the warning “FIRE LANE–TOW AWAY ZONE” in white letters at least three inches tall, at intervals not exceeding 50 feet.
The only allowed reasons a vehicle may be towed from an apartment complex per state law are below:
(b) The owner or operator of a vehicle may not leave unattended on a parking facility a vehicle that:
(1) obstructs a gate that is designed or intended for the use of pedestrians or vehicles;
(2) obstructs pedestrian or vehicular access to an area that is used for the placement of a garbage or refuse receptacle used in common by residents of the apartment complex;
(3) is in or obstructs a restricted parking area or parking space designated under Subchapter G, including a space designated for the use of employees or maintenance personnel of the parking facility or apartment complex;
(4) is in a tow away zone, other than a fire lane covered by Section 2308.251(c), that is brightly painted and is conspicuously and legibly marked with the warning “TOW AWAY ZONE” in contrasting letters at least three inches tall;
(5) is a semitrailer, trailer, or truck-tractor, as defined by Chapter 502, Transportation Code, unless the owner or operator of the vehicle is permitted under the terms of a rental or lease agreement with the apartment complex to leave the unattended vehicle on the parking facility; or
(6) is leaking a fluid that presents a hazard or threat to persons or property.
What this means for vehicle owners and operators is, your entitled to money, dating back two years from the date of tow and bad news for tow companies who list anything other than “unauthorized” versus the exact reason for the tow, such as listed in the above first paragraph.
This opinion is not only ours, but that of the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations Prosecutors, State Office of Administrative Hearing Judges and the Texas Legislature.
Case study: SOAH DOCKET NUMBER 452-16-0049.TOW