Can a Landlord Tow My Car

In certain situations, a landlord might be legally permitted to tow your car. It is essential to be aware of the laws and regulations in your area regarding this matter. Generally, a landlord can only tow your vehicle if it is parked illegally or in violation of the lease agreement. For instance, if you park in a designated “no parking” area or block access to other vehicles, the landlord may have the authority to tow your car. It’s important to read and understand the terms of your lease agreement to avoid any confusion or potential disputes. Additionally, some states allow landlords to tow abandoned vehicles if specific criteria are met. If you believe your car has been towed without proper justification, it’s advisable to contact your landlord and inquire about the reasons for the towing.

Landlord’s Right to Control Parking

Landlords have the authority to establish and enforce parking regulations within their properties. These regulations can include designated parking spaces, visitor parking, and towing policies. Here’s a closer look at the landlord’s rights and responsibilities regarding towing vehicles:

Tenant Obligations

  • Parking Permits: Landlords often require tenants to obtain parking permits or stickers for their vehicles. These permits allow tenants to park in designated areas and demonstrate their right to use the parking space.
  • Lease Agreement: The terms of the lease agreement usually include clauses that outline the parking rules and regulations. Tenants are expected to comply with these rules and understand the consequences of violating them, including the possibility of towing.
  • Designated Parking Spaces: Landlords may assign specific parking spaces to each tenant or unit. Tenants are expected to park their vehicles only in the designated spaces and avoid parking in unauthorized areas.

Towing Procedures

  • Proper Signage: Landlords must post clear and visible signs in the parking areas informing tenants about the towing policy, including the consequences of violating parking rules.
  • Towing Companies: Landlords usually hire towing companies to remove vehicles that violate parking regulations. The towing company should be licensed and insured, and the landlord should have a valid contract in place with the towing company.
  • Tenant Notification: Before towing a vehicle, landlords are required to make reasonable efforts to notify the tenant. This can be done by placing a notice on the vehicle or mailing a letter to the tenant’s address provided in the lease agreement. The notice should include information about the violation, the towing company’s contact information, and the procedure for retrieving the vehicle.

Tenant Responsibilities

  • Contact the Landlord: If a tenant’s vehicle is towed, they should immediately contact the landlord to inquire about the reason for towing and the process for retrieving the vehicle.
  • Proof of Ownership: When retrieving the vehicle, tenants may be required to provide proof of ownership, such as the vehicle’s registration and insurance documents.
  • Towing Fees: Tenants are usually responsible for paying the towing fees and any associated storage charges. The towing company may also charge a release fee before releasing the vehicle.

Preventing Towing

  • Follow Parking Rules: Tenants should familiarize themselves with the parking regulations and strictly adhere to them. This includes parking only in designated spaces, avoiding unauthorized areas, and displaying valid parking permits.
  • Communicate with the Landlord: If a tenant has any questions or concerns about parking, they should communicate with the landlord promptly. This can help prevent misunderstandings and potential towing incidents.


While landlords have the right to tow vehicles that violate parking regulations, they must follow specific procedures and provide adequate notice to tenants. Tenants, on the other hand, are responsible for adhering to the parking rules and communicating with the landlord in case of any issues. By understanding their respective rights and responsibilities, both parties can maintain a harmonious relationship and avoid towing disputes.

Notice and Due Process

When it comes to towing a tenant’s car, landlords must follow specific procedures to ensure that the tenant’s rights are protected. These procedures include providing adequate notice and following due process.


  • Written Notice: Landlords must provide written notice to the tenant before towing their car. This notice must include:
    • The date and time the car will be towed.
    • The location where the car will be towed.
    • The reason for the towing.
    • The amount of the towing fee.
  • Posting Notice: Landlords must also post a notice on the tenant’s car, informing them of the impending tow. This notice must be visible from the driver’s seat.

Due Process

Landlords must follow specific procedures before towing a tenant’s car, including:

  1. Providing a Hearing: Tenants have the right to a hearing before their car can be towed. The landlord must provide the tenant with reasonable notice of the hearing and the opportunity to present their case.
  2. Reviewing the Evidence: The landlord must review the evidence presented by the tenant and make a decision based on the evidence.
  3. Providing a Written Decision: The landlord must provide the tenant with a written decision explaining the reasons for the towing.
StateNotice RequirementDue Process Requirements
California10 days written noticeTenant has the right to a hearing before the car is towed.
Florida7 days written noticeTenant has the right to a hearing within 10 days of the towing.
Texas5 days written noticeTenant has the right to a hearing within 14 days of the towing.

Note: Laws and regulations regarding towing vary from state to state. It’s essential to check your local laws for specific requirements.

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Tenants have the right to quiet enjoyment of their leased premises, which includes the right to use and park their vehicles in designated parking areas. Landlords, on the other hand, have the responsibility to maintain the safety and security of their property, which may include towing vehicles that are parked illegally or in violation of the lease agreement. However, landlords cannot arbitrarily tow a tenant’s vehicle without following certain legal procedures and providing proper notice.

Tenant’s Responsibilities

  • Read and understand the lease agreement: The lease agreement should clearly outline the parking rules and regulations for the property, including any restrictions on parking location, number of vehicles, and parking fees.
  • Park in designated areas: Tenants must park their vehicles only in designated parking spaces or areas as specified in the lease agreement. Parking in unauthorized areas, such as fire lanes, handicap zones, or reserved spaces, may result in towing.
  • Display a valid parking permit: If required by the landlord, tenants must display a valid parking permit or sticker on their vehicle. Failure to display a valid permit may result in towing.
  • Keep the vehicle in good working condition: Tenants are responsible for maintaining their vehicles in good working condition. Vehicles that are inoperable or have flat tires, broken windows, or other safety hazards may be towed.
  • Comply with parking rules and regulations: Tenants must comply with all parking rules and regulations posted on the property, such as time limits, parking fees, and restrictions on overnight parking.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

  • Provide adequate parking: Landlords must provide adequate parking spaces for tenants as required by local laws and regulations. This may include providing a designated parking area, a parking lot, or a garage.
  • Post parking rules and regulations: Landlords must post clear and conspicuous signs stating the parking rules and regulations for the property. These signs should be visible to all tenants and visitors.
  • Provide proper notice before towing: Before towing a tenant’s vehicle, the landlord must provide proper notice to the tenant. This notice should include the date and time of the intended tow, the reason for the tow, and the location where the vehicle will be towed.
  • Use a licensed towing company: Landlords must use a licensed and insured towing company to tow vehicles. The towing company must follow all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Charge reasonable towing fees: Landlords can charge reasonable towing fees to the tenant, but these fees must be disclosed in the lease agreement or posted on the property.
Landlord’s Responsibilities Before Towing a Tenant’s Vehicle
Must provide proper notice to the tenantMust state the date and time of the intended tow, the reason for the tow, and the location where the vehicle will be towed.Must be conspicuous and visible to all tenants and visitors
Must use a licensed and insured towing companyMust follow all applicable laws and regulationsMust charge reasonable towing fees that are disclosed in the lease agreement or posted on the property

Note: State and local laws governing towing regulations may vary, so it’s important for both landlords and tenants to be aware of the specific laws and regulations in their jurisdiction.

Legal Grounds for Towing

To legally tow a tenant’s car, the landlord must have a valid reason, such as:

  • The car is parked in a designated no-parking zone, such as a fire lane or reserved parking space.
  • The car is blocking access to the property or preventing other tenants from using the parking lot.
  • The car is unregistered or inoperable and is considered a nuisance.
  • The tenant has repeatedly violated the terms of their lease agreement regarding vehicle parking.

Procedures for Towing

Before towing a tenant’s car, the landlord must:

  1. Give the tenant written notice of the violation and the intent to tow the car. This notice must be posted on the car and mailed to the tenant’s last known address.
  2. Wait a reasonable amount of time, usually 24 to 48 hours, for the tenant to remove the car.
  3. Obtain a valid impound order from a court or law enforcement agency.
  4. Hire a licensed towing company to remove the car.

Tenant’s Legal Remedies

If a landlord tows a tenant’s car illegally, the tenant may have several legal remedies, including:

  • Suing the landlord for damages, including the cost of towing and storage fees, as well as any lost wages or other expenses incurred due to the towing.
  • Filing a complaint with the local housing authority or other regulatory agency.
  • Withholding rent until the landlord resolves the issue.
  • Terminating the lease agreement if the towing constitutes a breach of the lease.

Consequences for Landlord

If a landlord tows a tenant’s car illegally, they may face several consequences, including:

  • Being ordered by a court to pay damages to the tenant.
  • Losing the right to collect rent from the tenant.
  • Having the lease agreement terminated.
  • Facing criminal charges, such as theft or conversion.

Table: Landlord’s Obligations and Tenant’s Rights Regarding Towing

Landlord’s ObligationsTenant’s Rights
Give written notice of violation and intent to towReceive written notice of violation and intent to tow
Wait a reasonable amount of time for the tenant to remove the carRemove the car within a reasonable amount of time
Obtain a valid impound orderContest the impound order in court
Hire a licensed towing companySue the landlord for damages if the car is towed illegally

Thanks for reading our article about landlords and towing cars! We appreciate you taking the time to learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. We hope this article has been informative and helpful. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always here to help. In the meantime, we’d love for you to stick around and check out some of our other articles. We have a lot of great content on all sorts of topics, so we’re sure you’ll find something you’ll enjoy. Thanks again for reading, and we hope to see you back soon!