Can Landlord Tow My Car

Landlords have the authority to tow a tenant’s car if specific conditions are met. Typically, the landlord must provide the tenant with a warning in advance. There should be proper signage in the parking area notifying tenants that unauthorized vehicles will be towed. The tenant may have violated the terms of their lease agreement related to parking. For instance, parking in a reserved spot without permission or accumulating unpaid parking tickets. If the car is parked illegally or obstructs other vehicles or pedestrians, the landlord can request it to be towed. The landlord must follow the legal process and provide the tenant with an opportunity to retrieve their car before selling or disposing of it.

Landlord’s Right to Tow Vehicles

Generally, landlords are permitted to tow vehicles from their property under specific circumstances, and towing policies vary by state, county, and city. These circumstances typically involve a vehicle being illegally parked, abandoned, or posing a hazard or obstruction.

In most cases, landlords must adhere to certain legal procedures before towing a vehicle. These may include:

  • Providing adequate notice to the vehicle owner.
  • Posting signage clearly outlining the towing policy.
  • Taking reasonable steps to contact the vehicle owner before towing.

Landlords may tow vehicles in the following scenarios:

  • Unauthorized Vehicles: Any vehicle parked on the landlord’s property without authorization or in violation of the lease agreement can be towed.
  • Abandoned Vehicles: Vehicles that appear to be abandoned and left unattended for an extended period can be towed.
  • Safety and Obstruction: Vehicles parked in a manner that obstructs access, creates a safety hazard, or violates fire codes can be towed.
  • Lease Violation: If parking regulations are outlined in the lease agreement and a tenant violates these rules, the landlord may tow the vehicle.
  • Emergency Situations: Vehicles blocking access to emergency vehicles or creating a hazardous situation can be towed immediately.
  • Towing Fees and Liability
    • Notifying the vehicle owner.
    • Posting signage.
    • Arranging for towing.
    Generally not liable for any damages to the vehicle during towing, unless caused by negligence.
    Vehicle Owner
    • Towing fees.
    • Storage fees.
    • Potential fines.
    Responsible for any damages caused by illegal parking or violating the landlord’s parking policy.

    Procedure for Towing Vehicles by Landlord

    1. Notice to the Tenant:

    • The landlord must provide written notice to the tenant at least 24 hours before the towing.
    • The notice should include the following information:
      • The date and time of the proposed towing.
      • The reason for the towing (e.g., unpaid rent, violation of lease agreement).
      • The location where the vehicle will be towed.
      • The name and contact information of the towing company.
    • The tenant has the right to contest the towing by providing evidence that the reason for the towing is invalid or that the notice requirements were not met.

    2. Towing:

    • The landlord can hire a towing company to tow the vehicle if the tenant does not remove it within the specified time frame.
    • The towing company must have a license to operate in the area where the vehicle is being towed.
    • The towing company must follow all applicable laws and regulations when towing the vehicle.

    3. Storage:

    • The towed vehicle must be stored in a safe and secure location.
    • The tenant is responsible for paying the storage fees.
    • The tenant has the right to inspect the vehicle during storage.

    4. Release of Vehicle:

    • The tenant can reclaim the vehicle by paying the towing and storage fees.
    • If the tenant does not reclaim the vehicle within a certain period of time (typically 30 days), the landlord may sell the vehicle to cover the towing and storage fees.

    5. Liability:

    • The landlord is liable for any damages to the vehicle caused by the towing or storage process.
    • The tenant is liable for any unpaid rent or other charges that led to the towing.
    State-Specific Regulations for Towing Vehicles by Landlords
    StateNotice RequirementTowing Fee LimitsStorage Fee Limits
    California24 hours$150$20 per day
    Florida72 hours$100$15 per day
    Texas48 hours$200$25 per day

    Tenant’s Rights Regarding Towing

    Tenants have certain rights when it comes to towing, including the right to notice, the right to a hearing, and the right to redeem their vehicle. The specific rights that tenants have vary from state to state, but there are some general principles that apply in most jurisdictions.


    • Landlords are generally required to give tenants notice before towing their vehicles.
    • The amount of notice required varies from state to state, but it is typically at least 24 hours.
    • The notice must be in writing and must be delivered to the tenant in person, by mail, or by posting it on the tenant’s door.
    • The notice must state the reason for the towing and the date and time that the vehicle will be towed.


    • In some states, tenants have the right to a hearing before their vehicle can be towed.
    • The hearing is typically held before a neutral third party, such as a judge or a magistrate.
    • At the hearing, the tenant can present evidence and argue why their vehicle should not be towed.


    • In most states, tenants have the right to redeem their vehicles after they have been towed.
    • To redeem their vehicle, tenants must pay the towing and storage fees.
    • The amount of time that tenants have to redeem their vehicle varies from state to state, but it is typically 30 days.
    State-by-State Towing Laws
    StateNotice RequiredRight to HearingRedemption Period
    California24 hoursYes30 days
    Florida48 hoursNo15 days
    Illinois72 hoursYes30 days
    New York14 daysYes30 days
    Texas24 hoursNo15 days

    If you are a tenant and your landlord is threatening to tow your vehicle, you should contact a lawyer to learn about your rights. You can also contact your local housing authority or tenant’s rights organization for help.

    Terms of the Lease Agreement

    To avoid being towed, understanding and adhering to the terms of your lease agreement is crucial. It’s common for lease agreements to include specific rules and regulations regarding parking. These rules often dictate where you are allowed to park, the duration for which you can park, and any procedures that need to be followed when parking.

    Designated Parking Spaces

    Many lease agreements assign specific parking spaces to each tenant. It’s essential to adhere to these designated spaces and only park within them to ensure you don’t violate the terms of your lease. Parking in an unassigned space or blocking other vehicles could result in a tow.

    Parking Permits or Stickers

    Some lease agreements require tenants to display parking permits or stickers on their vehicles. These permits or stickers serve as proof of authorization to park within the designated areas. Failing to display the required permit or sticker may lead to your vehicle being towed.

    Parking Duration

    Lease agreements often specify the maximum duration for which vehicles can be parked in certain areas. Violating these time limits, such as parking overnight in prohibited areas or exceeding the specified time limit, could lead to your vehicle being towed.

    Unauthorized Parking

    Unauthorized parking, such as parking in restricted areas, marked as “No Parking,” “Fire Lane,” or “Loading Zone,” is strictly prohibited and can result in immediate towing. These areas are designated for specific purposes and must be kept clear at all times.

    Tenant Notification and Communication

    In most cases, landlords are required to provide proper notification before towing a vehicle. This notification may come in the form of warnings or notices placed on the vehicle or by contacting the tenant directly. It is important to pay attention to these notices and take prompt action to avoid a tow.

    Consequences of Unauthorized Parking

    Understanding the consequences of unauthorized parking is crucial. Besides being towed, you may also face additional fees and charges, such as towing fees, storage fees, and administrative fees. These fees can accumulate quickly and become a significant financial burden.

    Suggestions for Avoiding Towing

    • Carefully read and understand the terms of your lease agreement regarding parking regulations.
    • Park only in designated spaces assigned to you or within authorized areas.
    • Display the required parking permits or stickers on your vehicle as specified in your lease agreement.
    • Avoid parking in restricted areas, such as “No Parking” zones, “Fire Lanes,” or “Loading Zones.”
    • Be mindful of the maximum parking duration allowed in specific areas to avoid exceeding the time limit.
    • Pay attention to warning notices or communications from your landlord regarding potential towing and take prompt action to resolve any issues.
    Unauthorized ParkingConsequences
    Parking in restricted areasImmediate towing, fees, and charges
    Parking in unassigned spacesTowing, fees, and charges
    Exceeding parking duration limitsTowing, fees, and charges
    Parking without required permit or stickerTowing, fees, and charges

    Thanks for sticking with me through this article, folks! I hope you found the information helpful and informative. Remember, the laws regarding landlord towing can vary from state to state, so always consult your local laws before assuming anything. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to an attorney specializing in landlord-tenant disputes. Keep an eye out for more informative articles like this one coming your way soon. Until then, stay safe and keep those tires off the tow zone!