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Community a bit heavy-handed in its towing policy

Q: My car was towed six hours after a moving permit ran out. No notice to me. No sticker. They (the community manager) told me they can put a orange sticker on a car anytime in the last six months for any infraction, such as altered registration. That would be your only warning for the year. It is a one-sticker state? This seems highly unlikely to be the case. Maybe, just maybe, if it was for the same reason.

It cost $389 to get my car back. The tow driver better have photos to prove he tagged and dated an orange sticker before he towed my car. It seems like he is the one who needs to prove it. I don’t even think the tag that was put on the car in September had a date or time written on it.

A: This is not the first time a reader has stated to me the towing company or the management company has informed them a parking sticker placed on their vehicle is good for six months. Meaning, the towing company could tow a vehicle with no further notice if there were another infraction within a six-month period.

I have yet to find any state law that supports that proposition.

Nevada Revised Statute 116.3102 subsection 1s addresses parking issues pursuant to NRS 487.038, which are the towing laws for the state of Nevada. Here is what NRS 116.3102 has to say about what the association may do:

“May direct the removal of vehicles improperly parked on property owned or leased by the association, as authorized pursuant to NRS 487.038, or improperly parked on any road, street, alley or other thoroughfare within the common-interest community in violation of the governing documents. In addition to complying with the requirements of NRS 487.038 and any requirements in the governing documents, if a vehicle is improperly parked as described in this paragraph, the association must post written notice in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or provide oral or written notice to the owner or operator of the vehicle at least 48 hours before the association may direct the removal of the vehicle, unless the vehicle:

(1) Is blocking a fire hydrant, fire lane or parking space designated for the handicapped; or

(2) Poses an imminent threat of causing a substantial adverse effect on the health, safety or welfare of the units’ owners or residents of the common-interest community.”

As you will note, the law requires 48-hour notice prior to removing any vehicle unless it is blocking a fire hydrant or illegally parking in a handicapped space or causes an imminent threat.

There was a change in the towing laws during the 2017 legislative session which became effective July 1, 2017, as follows:

SB320 pertains to the subject of the towing of unregistered vehicles. This law pertains to condominiums and town houses that have a common parking area, regardless of whether there is assigned parking. The association may not tow a vehicle if the vehicle is owned or operated by a resident and where the registration has not expired past 60 days or more. Please note that the association may tow the unregistered vehicle if it is owned or operated by a nonresident upon verification of the nonresident status.

Stickers that are being applied to vehicles have a 48-hour window before being towed, and the stickers must include the date and time after which the vehicle will be towed.

SB320 does not apply to single-family homes or condominiums and town houses that have garage parking only.

You may want to have another conversation with the manager of the towing company as to a refund.

Barbara Holland is a certified property manager, broker and supervisory certified association manager. Questions may be sent to holland744o@gmail.com.

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