Ask anyone who lives in a strata scheme about illegal parking – it’s a common angst that most owners have experienced at some stage. For committees, the legalities around towing an offending vehicle from common property is almost always a hot topic.
But before you pick up the phone to arrange for an offending vehicle to be removed, you should know that towing legislation in Queensland changed in April 2018.
Removing a vehicle from private property, including common property, needs to be done by an accredited driver and assistants using licensed tow trucks.
This means an order from the Commissioner for Body Corporate and Community Management is required before you or the Building Manager can call your local tow truck.
Tow-the-line and check your by-laws
If the Body Corporate has by-laws in place regarding parking restrictions on common property, then any parking signage needs to meet these new guidelines.
And if you intend on enforcing the parking by-laws, you need to know the facts before you proceed with towing:
- Tow truck drivers and assistants must be accredited;
- Tow trucks must be licensed; and
- The Body Corporate must enter into a contract with the chosen towing company authorising the removal of the vehicles on the property.
If towing does occur:
- $0 If the owner of the vehicle arrives back on the scene while the car is still being loaded, the car must be released to the owner without any charge;
- <$150 If the owner of the vehicle arrives back on the scene while the vehicle is already secured on the truck and the truck is ready to drive off, the vehicle must be released to the owner immediately for a fee not exceeding $150;
- $250 If the vehicle has been towed to the holding yard, the maximum fee for towing and holding for up to 72 hours inclusive is $250;
- $250+ Beyond 72 hours the towing company can only charge a maximum of $25 a day for holding fees.
If you are a customer of Smarter Communities, please contact your Community Manager who can provide further assistance. We can advise your Body Corporate on how by-laws can be updated or changed, or new ones created to meet the needs of all lot owners.