The Only Reasons Vehicles Maybe Towed from Apartment Complexes in Texas

Texas regulates all aspects of private property towing, especially from apartment complexes and a vehicle can only be towed for reason as stated in State Law and no other reasons. Its important to remember, the Texas Towing Law is about “who” may park and prohibit all others, but not “how” they park.

Per Texas Occupations Code 2308.251

(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; (correct definition for “DOUBLE PARKED)

(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.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to an emergency vehicle that is owned by, or the operation of which is authorized by, a governmental entity.

(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.

And Texas Occupations Code 2308.253

a) This section applies only to a parking facility serving or adjacent to an apartment complex consisting of one or more residential apartment units and any adjacent real property serving the apartment complex.

(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.

(c) A parking facility owner may not have an emergency vehicle described by Section 2308.251(b) removed from the parking facility.

(d) Except as provided by a contract described by Subsection (e), a parking facility owner may not have a vehicle removed from the parking facility merely because the vehicle does not display an unexpired license plate or registration insignia issued for the vehicle under Chapter 502, Transportation Code, or the vehicle registration law of another state or country.

(e) A contract provision providing for the removal from a parking facility of a vehicle that does not display an unexpired license plate or registration insignia is valid only if the provision requires the owner or operator of the vehicle to be given at least 10 days’ written notice that the vehicle will be towed from the facility at the vehicle owner’s or operator’s expense if it is not removed from the parking facility. The notice must be:

(1) delivered in person to the owner or operator of the vehicle; or

(2) sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to that owner or operator.

(f) This section may not be construed:

(1) to authorize the owner or operator of a vehicle to leave an unattended vehicle on property that is not designed or intended for the parking of vehicles; or

(2) to limit or restrict the enforcement of Chapter 683, Transportation Code, the abandoned motor vehicle law.

If the reason for towing your vehicle, which must be provided on the tow ticket and release document state anything other than what is listed above, even with legal tow signs posted, the tow would be illegal and are due monetary damages, payable by the parking facility and landowner.

The following “reasons for tow” are not allowed by State Law and no apartment lease or tow contract tow codes list is above State Law:

  • Taking up two parking spaces
  • Parked on the parking stripe
  • Parked on grass/landscaping/curb
  • Not Street Legal
  • Backed Into Parking Space
  • Flat tire

Knowing what you have read and comparing to the times you have been towed or charged a drop fee for these stated reasons, its easy to see your vehicle was most likely illegally towed.

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