Many private properties, whether residential or commercial, legally can limit or regulate parking on their property. Motor vehicle owners may face the possibility that their vehicle may be gone when they return if they ignore signs regulating the parking on private property. It the vehicle operators’ responsibility to know the rules of where they are parking. Only the vehicle operator can prevent the vehicle from being towed by parking in a correct manner and making themselves aware of the rules.
Trespass towing is defined as towing or removal of a vehicle that is illegally parked on private real property, at the property owner’s direction. This is legal under Florida law, and is authorized 24 hours a day. Private property owners will contract with us to remove vehicles from their property and store them in our lot at 8485 NW 64th Street, Miami, FL 33166 until it is released to the owner. The vehicle owner will be responsible to us for all costs associated with the towing and storage of the vehicle.
There are two types of trespass towing. First, at any time of the day the property owner or agent may request that an illegally parked vehicle be towed from their property. There is a requirement that multi-unit residential properties must have signs posted that indicate that unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the vehicle owners’ expense. Usually, we provide those signs to property owners for a nominal fee. Second, between 9:00pm and 7:00am, owners of properties used for residential purposes may elect to authorize the towing service to tow away or remove vehicles without a verified request to remove a specific vehicle provided that the owner/agent complies with the following requirement: A photograph of the “offending" vehicle shall be taken prior to its removal demonstrating the violation of law, rule or regulation for which the vehicle is being towed. This type of tow is referred to as a “Roam Tow". Commercial properties may elect to utilize Roam Towing 24 hours a day.
If you are a resident of a residential property, confirm whether the property requires a parking decal to park at the property and obtain a decal IMMEDIATELY. Also, inquire as to the property’s rules and regulations for visitors or overnight guests. Many properties require visitor permits and provide limited permits to their tenants. Also, ask for a written copy of the property’s parking rules and regulations when you sign your lease or move in. If you are parking in the parking lot of a business, look for towing signage at the entrance or on property that warn individuals that parking is for patrons or for certain hours. You can expect that the property owner has someone watching you to see if you are complying with the signage and if you are not, you could be towed.
If you have parked a vehicle illegally and observe the wrecker operator in the process of removing your vehicle, you may avoid having to pay for the tow, but ACT FAST. Under City ordinances, there are three distinct stages to a towing situation. 1. No Fee Situation – From the moment that the wrecker enters the parking lot to remove your vehicle UNTIL the vehicle is physically connected, you are entitled to have your vehicle free of charge. “Physically Connected" shall mean one half of the wheel lift apparatus surrounding a tire AND lifted off the ground. Or, a winch hook (if applicable) is attached in a manner that the vehicle can be safely towed. 2. Drop Fee Situation – From the moment that a vehicle is physically connected until the vehicle has been physically removed form the property, the vehicle owner is entitled to have the vehicle released upon payment of a fee equal to half of the maximum tow fee. 3. Full Tow – From the moment the vehicle leaves the property, the wrecker company is entitled to the total tow fee.
Once the vehicle is towed, the wrecker company legally has a lien for the cost of the towing fee and other associated costs. It is unlawful for a motor vehicle owner to remove their vehicle from the wrecker company property without making full payment or the consent of the wrecker company. The maximum penalty for removing a vehicle under lien is a fine of $500.00 or 90 days in jail (Section 713.8, Florida Statutes)
If the vehicle owner believes that the vehicle was improperly towed, the vehicle owner may: 1. Pay the towing and associated fees to retrieve the vehicle, then file a small claims actions against the wrecker company, or; 2. File a lawsuit in county court pursuant to sections 713.78(5), Florida statutes, which will require the filing of a bond with the court equal to the charges for towing and storage. Upon posting the bond, the clerk will issue a certificate authorizing the vehicle owner to retrieve their vehicle.