From the Davis-Stirling newsletter put out by ADAMS & KESSLER LLP regarding towing rules for condominiums:
QUESTION: Do fire lanes require signage?
ANSWER: Fire lanes must be properly marked. If the fire lane is not on public streets, i.e., it is association controlled, the board can tow vehicles without further notice and without specifically authorizing each tow (provided the association has complied with all statutory requirements).
QUESTION: Can residents tow cars that are parked in their assigned spaces?
ANSWER: The statute appears to preclude residents from towing cars without first giving 96-hours notice since owners don’t have contractual relationships with towing companies and have not posted signs at the entrances. However, residents could contact the association and the association may tow the car (provided the association has complied with the new statute).
QUESTION: Can an association demand a copy of an owner’s drivers license?
ANSWER: If the association’s streets are private, it can require proof that drivers are licensed to drive. Associations can also suspend driving privileges on its streets for driving infractions (if provided for in the Rules & Regulations).
QUESTION: Some of us own scooters. Previous boards let us park our scooters in a portion of the garage that doesn’t interfere with foot traffic. The new board wants to charge for scooter parking. Is that legal?
ANSWER: Boards often charge rent to owners who want a storage room or a parking space for their exclusive use. However, open (unassigned) parking for bicycles and scooters in designated areas is usually provided without charge. A user fee for non-exclusive parking would probably fall under Civ.Code §1366.1. Such fees may not exceed the amount necessary to defray the costs for which they are levied, i.e., they may not be treated as revenue streams for the association.
QUESTION: We don’t have signs at our entrances. What if vehicles are not staying the full 96 hours hours but return at a later time?
ANSWER: By moving their cars around, violators can avoid being towed but that does not exempt them from fines. The violation notice on the windshield that the vehicle will be towed if not moved can also serve as a notice of fine. The board still needs to hold a hearing before levying the fine.
- Adrian J. Adams, Esq
* To subscribe to our weekly newsletter go to the bottom of our homepage, fill in your e-mail address and press the “enter” button.