What is the cost for a Multifamily/Apartment – Residential or Commercial private parking lot facility owner or manager to remove a junk vehicle from their parking facilities in the Houston metropolitan area?
There is no cost for junk vehicle removals. The cost is the direct responsibility of the owner or operator of the vehicle to be removed. This is applies all residential and commercial private parking facilities.
Are owners of managing parties responsible for any damage incurred during a vehicle removing procedure in the greater Houston metropolitan area?
Not if in compliance with the following chapter.
Texas Occupation Code:
Sec. 2308.403. LIMITATION ON LIABILITY OF PARKING FACILITY OWNER FOR REMOVAL OR STORAGE OF UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLE. A parking facility owner who causes the removal of an unauthorized vehicle is not liable for damages arising from the removal or storage of the vehicle if the vehicle:
(1) was removed in compliance with this chapter; and
(A) removed by a towing company insured against liability for property damage incurred in towing a vehicle; and
(B) stored by a vehicle storage facility insured against liability for property damage incurred in storing a vehicle.
If my car is missing from a Multifamily/Apartment – Residential Commercial private parking lot facility, how can I determine if it was towed?
You can call your local police department’s non-emergency number. All private parking lot facility towing companies require to report every tow they perform to the police. All vehicle storage facilities that accept a vehicle are required to issue a towing report to the local police municipality in which the vehicle was removed within two hours of receiving the vehicle. If the vehicle was towed from a location not belonging to a municipality, the local county sheriff’s office is to be informed.
Can my vehicle be towed from a private parking lot that is closed for business?
Your vehicle can be removed from a none operational Multifamily/Apartment Residential or Commercial private property parking lot if the owner/manager of the facility is currently under contract with a 24 hour, seven days a week towing company. It does not matter if the parking lot facility is currently open or closed for business.
Why would my vehicle be towed from a parking lot facility that is not currently open for business?
There are liability issues (e.g., the car gets damaged while parked on its private property lot facility; items are stolen from a vehicle parked on a private property lot facility). Other reasons might include the possibility of a vehicle parked for a long time. The business might require their own parking facility for their customers during business hours.
How much can a towing company charge to release a vehicle that has been removed from a Multifamily/Apartment Residential or Commercial private property parking log facility?
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations sets maximum towing fees. (https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/towing/compliance/vsf/fees.htm#towing-fees). Municipalities can also set their own maximum charges for towing. Any private parking lot facility towing company must abide by the stricter of the two laws/ordinances. Take note that the towing fee does not include the vehicle impounded facilities fees. These additional charges are usually set by the number of days the vehicle stays impounded.
Is it legal for towing companies to patrol private parking lot facilities looking for violations? Is a towing request required to initiate a tow?
No law prohibits private parking lot tow operators from patrolling and monitoring parking lots that are under contract. The contract with the Multifamily/Apartment Residential or Commercial private parking lot facility owner or managing company sets the terms for this to take place.