“Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed at Owners or Operators Expense” (No words can be added to this sentence in quotes) In order to recover this civil penalty, you need to file a statutory hearing against the property manager or property owner since the majority of properties failed to install the signs themselves and allowed vehicles to be towed with illegal towing signs posted.
Houston area property managers should stop accepting kickbacks from their towing companies as they will be sued instead of the towing company for monetary damages. The towing company can only provide the towing sign and do the towing of the vehicle, anything else of value is a violation of State Law, an arrestable offense.
Some towing company offer parking lot striping, orange warning stickers, parking permits, golf carts for property staff to use, contribute to office staff Christmas parties and a multitude of other signage.
If the parking facility only has one driveway less than 35′ wide, only one sign can be provided to the parking facility. So some will better understand this issue of kickback or bribes, read this attorney general opinion, JC-0554 that was written Sept. 12, 2002. Nothing has changed in State Law regarding this opinion. The Houston Apartment Association best advise their members that taking financial kickbacks and accepting bribes from towing companies are going to hurt their bottom line and Better Business Bureau rating, as they will be held accountable before a Judge. If they refuse or don’t show up for a statutory or tow hearing, a motion to reset the trial will be made and whoever authorized the tow will be ordered to appear or face a contempt of court charge. If your going to allow towing on private property, it’s wise to be legal or they will be paying attorneys fees to represent themselves and paying judgement for violations of the Texas Towing Law. If you accept anything of value from a towing company that is towing vehicles from your parking lots, you best ask the towing company if they furnish a bail-bondsman since the criminal penalty is a Class B misdemeanor. Everyone towed from private property should take a photo of the red and white towing sign after finding your vehicle towed for evidence, then contact us. You also want to file an online complaint with the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations against the towing company and the vehicle storage facility, if the name of the person who authorized the tow is not on the storage receipt.
According to the latest ruling by Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation and Administrative Law Judge: not providing proper notice before towing a vehicle from private property is a violation of law.
Occupations Code 2308.253 (d)(1)(2) states: an
APARTMENT COMPLEX may not have a vehicle removed from the parking facility merely because the vehicle does not display:
(1) 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; or
(2) a valid vehicle inspection certificate issued under Chapter 548, Transportation Code, or the vehicle inspection 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 or a valid inspection certificate 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 the owner or operator.
Basically, what this law means, is that if your vehicle is towed for an expired inspection and/or registration and the registered owner did not receive a certified letter from the apartment complex, your vehicle was illegally towed.
You most definitely want to file an online complaint against the towing service for violating Occupations Code 2308.253 (d)(1)(2).
The orange sticker on your vehicle for expired license plates, inspection or abandonment is not the required notice.
You should call the police to report your vehicle stolen, as probable cause did not exist to tow a vehicle for expired tags with merely an orange sticker. Confront your property manager by recording all conversations as they authorized an illegal tow and file criminal charges against the property manager as well. Direct them to this website so they can see their towing company is more concerned with making money than keeping them out of jail.
If you receive a required certified letter from the tow company instead of the apartment complex, without a doubt, your vehicle was illegally towed and are due compensation from the property management company and property owner. Please file the online complaint against the tow company for providing something of value to the parking facility in connection with the removal of the vehicle, which is strictly prohibited by State Law.
If your vehicle was towed for anything listed on this page, your entitled to $1,000 plus triple whatever you paid to retrieve your vehicle, including the filing fee for Justice Court against the parking facility. Must file a statutory violation hearing instead of a tow hearing to recover this money. Sue the apartment complex and do not name the towing company when filing this hearing.
If the name of the apartment complex employee who authorized the tow is not provided on the release documents, there is no deadline other than the two-year statute of limitations to file the request for the tow hearing in any Justice Court within the County the vehicle is towed from.