If an apartment complex has a contract with a towing company to tow illegally parked cars does a manager have to be there when the car is the sign for each card is being towed at the time of being towed?


The building manager needs to be there when the car is towed

The tow truck driver must be wearing his hat when he attaches the hook to the car

The tow truck driver needs a piece of paper which says Authority To Tow

These are all urban legends of what is necessary to tow the car legally, and none of them are true.

If you park on private property, essentially there are 2 main possibilities:

  1. You have a contract with the land owner, or
  2. You don't have a contract with the land owner

Do you have a contract with the land owner?

If there is a sign which says something like "If you park here, we will tow your car away and you will have to pay $200 to get it back", and the sign's placement, fontsize, etc mean that it would be visible to a normal person, then by parking there you are entering into a contract. The landowner likely also has a contract with a towing company allowing them to tow cars from their property. Whether this is a blanket contract covering all cars on the land (they might sign a new contract once a year) or individual contracts for each car (they might call the towing company whenever they need a car towed) is determined by the land owner and the towing company

Alternatively, you may have a contract with the landowner allowing you to park there for free. Is there a sign that says "Visitor parking" and were you visiting someone who lives/works on the land?

If there is no sign and you have not specifically entered into a contract regarding parking there, then depending on the circumstances the landowner can still have your car towed, but it would be difficult for them to require you to pay a specific amount to get it back. They may need to make a claim against you for their towing costs, and show receipts from the towing company etc, because without a contract they have no right to profit from you parking there, even if you were trespassing.

In most cases there will be a sign, you will see it, and you will agree to it by parking. You can report it to the police as stealing, they can investigate by asking the towing company and the land owner, and they will probably discover that the landowner had the right to tow cars and assigned that right to the towing company.

If there's a sign, then you may have agreed to it by parking there. If there's no sign, then you may have been trespassing.

  • 2
    If the person parking has a separate contract with the landowner, for example because of renting an apartment or buying a parking permit, that probably takes precedence over the implied contract formed by the sign. Apr 12 '19 at 3:43

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