In countless communities, parking is tight and battles are plenty for associations when it comes to regulating parking in a fair and reasonable manner. Many associations contract with towing companies to assist with parking enforcement. In many situations, the towing company is given a blanket authorization to tow if vehicles are parked in violation of the association’s rules or covenants, without requiring the towing company to get specific authorization from the association for each particular tow.
In such cases, towing companies are regulated by rules set forth in the Colorado Code of Regulations. There is language in the current rules that implies that each individual tow must still be authorized by an individual or individuals authorized to do so by the association (such as the manager or a board member), which would prevent towing companies from legally towing vehicles under a blanket authorization. However, the rules are not entirely clear.
The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) recently published proposed revisions to the rules regulating the towing of motor vehicles, seeking comment and input. The proposed rules remove language allowing towing carriers to act as agents for associations, and allow towing carriers to tow if requested to do so upon the authorization of the property owner, which is defined to include the owner of the property or a person who has been authorized in writing to act as agent for the property owner. That authorized person could be, therefore, a board member or the manager. Does this clarify that each individual tow must be separately authorized?
One important change in the proposed rules that is clear, however, is a new provision that would require signs be erected on the property advising people that illegally parked vehicles are subject to tow. Without such signs, a towing carrier cannot tow, even with the authorization of the association.