Q & A – HOA Towing Facts – Article by Nick Carroll

Article by Nick Carroll

Does an H.O.A. need a towing contract? Yes! But it is not really a contract it is a general authorization to allow a tow company to enforce towing of fire lanes and vehicles blocking exit and entrances only.  This way the tow company does not need to bother management when they see a vehicle parked in violation of fire safety codes.


What Insurance does the Tow Company need to carry?  General Liability insurance, commercial garage keepers insurance and workers compensation insurance.  In addition drivers must have less than three points on their DMV records, and must complete a California Tow Truck Association course to be certified to tow for our company.  All drivers also undergo background checks by law enforcement, and regular drug testing.


Can an H.O.A. tow an inoperable car parked in the owner’s driveway?  Yes! 22658 of the California vehicle code states:

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:

(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.

In essence the vehicle is inoperable.


Is it legal to tow a car with a Handicap Placard if it is parked illegally?  Yes, if the vehicle is parked in another person’s space, a red fire zone, or blocking the exit or entrance of a property a handicap vehicle can be towed.  Handicap plate is exempt from parking in green loading zones, and handicapped spaces, and in commercial metered spaces.  Handicapped vehicles must comply with all other parking rules unless otherwise delineated in your lease agreements.


Can a homeowner call you directly and have a car towed?  Yes by law a homeowner can, however, they must have proof of ownership of the parking spot, a lease, or title report, or grant deed will do, and a valid government identification card that matches the name on the proof of ownership.


What is the correct procedure for a tow?  Depending on the violation, generally if a vehicle is parked in the wrong location or a fire lane or blocking the entrance exit of the property you just call your tow company.  We will respond, take pictures of the violation, contact the person authorized to sign for the tow (unless it is a fire lane or blocking the entrance exit of the property; if this is the case our general authorization contract would allow us to tow without requiring a signature), obtain the authorization signature, and remove the vehicle.  Also keep in mind we are required by law to redact (hide) the name, signature, address, and phone number of the person authorizing the tow or signing for the vehicle.  Therefore the person getting towed cannot verify who authorized the tow unless a court of law allows the information to be discoverable (very rare).  This is to protect the person authorized to remove the vehicle from any dispute that may arise.


If a community has assigned parking – can you legally tow a car if it is parked in somebody’s spot?  Yes!  The person parked in the wrong spot can be towed immediately, a tenant, homeowner, or authorized signator just has to call and they will remove the vehicles immediately.


– Click here to find out more about Southside Towing services –


Davis Stirling Act on Towing

Towing Vehicles – Click here

Signage Requirements – Click here

Towing from fire lanes & Fire Hydrants – Click here

Towing from guest parking spots – Click here


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    Amber Property Management 27261 Las Ramblas, Suite 100 Mission Viejo, CA 92691 General email mark@amberpm.com and or tracey@amberpm.com Office (949) 429-5831 Fax (949) 429-5933
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