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Parking Policies Enforcement: Know Before You Tow
THS Adds Another Attorney to the Firm: Christopher Cunningham
Happy Holidays from the THS Team
Volume 17â€¢ Issue 12
3600 South Yosemite Street Suite 828, Denver, Colorado 80237
Denver Phone 303.766.8004 FAX Completed Eviction Forms To: 303.766.1181 or 303.766.1819
Colorado Springs Phone 719.550.8004 FAX Completed Eviction Forms To: 719.227.1181
PARKING POLICIES ENFORCEMENT:
KNOW BEFORE YOU TOW
Parking is a hot topic in the Colorado rental market. There never seems to be enough parking for your tenants. As a manager, you have to decide when to tow a tenantâ€™s vehicle. This month we discuss best practices, rules and enforcement of your parking policies.
When reviewing possible parking violations you must start with your lease. You must review your entire lease, including addenda, particularly parking addendums and community rules and policies. While the base lease may include a general provision allowing towing, often a Parking Addendum, and/or the Community Rules and Policies Addendum provide further details. In addition to getting the details, you need to make sure you donâ€™t have conflicting provisions in your lease package. Wrongful towing can cause major headaches and cost money to all involved: you, your tenant, and your towing company.
The state also imposes towing regulations. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) regulates towing in Colorado. The PUC requires you to provide notice to the vehicle owner prior to performing a tow of a vehicle off your property. Notice of any parking limitations, regulations, restrictions and/or prohibitions for your property must have been provided at or before the time the vehicle was parked. The notice must also state that the vehicle is subject to being towed at the vehicle ownerâ€™s expense. This requirement can be met by the proper wording in your lease agreement for tenants. However, tenantâ€™s guestsâ€™ vehicles, or other unwanted vehicles, have to be provided with notice to the vehicle owner. One way that you can do this is to post signs on your property.
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THS ADDS ANOTHER
ATTORNEY TO THE FIRM
Please join with us in welcoming Christopher Cunningham to the Firm. Although he is a new member of our legal team, he is not new to many of our clients because he has spent the last year at THS working with our attorneys and clients as a legal intern at the Firm.
Christopher joined the Tschetter Hamrick Sulzer legal team as an Attorney and Counselor at Law after admission to the Colorado Bar in October of 2016. However, this Kansas City native has been with the firm as a legal intern since January of 2015. Prior to his internship with THS, Christopher interned for a District Court Judge where he acquired first hand experience with civil litigation cases. Following this initial internship, Chris interned at THS while also participating in internship positions with two other law firms where he expanded his familiarity of civil litigation as well as working on cases of attorney malpractice. These multiple internships provided him with first hand practical experience to work in firms with diverse areas of practice and give him the opportunity to identify the area of law that he wanted to practice. Based on these experiences Chris realized that he had a natural aptitude for landlord law. This fact, plus his appreciation of the team-like environment at Tschetter Hamrick Sulzer led Christopher to pursue a career with the Firm.
Chris received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado Denver and his Juris Doctorate from Sturm College of Law at Denver University. While attending UCD as an undergraduate, Christopher managed a Pizza Hut where he learned valuable life lessons about business, communication, and customer service. After graduating from UCD and prior to attending law school, Chris took a three year
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PARKING POLICIES ENFORCEMENT:KNOW BEFORE YOU TOW continued from page 1
The PUC has specific requirements for the sign(s). The sign(s) must have been in place prior to a tow of the vehicle. The signs must be placed permanently and conspicuously near each entrance to the parking area. This signage must also meet the following requirements: sign must be no less than one square foot, the letters cannot be less than one inch high, there must be contrasting letter colors, the restrictions to be enforced must be stated, and the sign must include the name and number of the towing company. If you have contracted with a professional towing company, then most likely they have placed signs on the property that are in compliance with PUC regulations.
The benefit of providing the towing notice, by signs on the property, is that the PUC deems this signage to be providing notice to both tenants and non-tenants, i.e. notification no matter who parks in the area. This allows enforcement against non-tenants who would not be aware of parking rules set forth in your lease.
Recently the Firm has seen an increase with properties booting vehicles rather than towing vehicles. While booting may be less expensive and less invasive than towing, it may not solve the parking problem. Also, booting keeps the improperly parked, or unauthorized vehicle in the parking area, and could result in a direct confrontation with the tenant over the booting of the vehicle. Another consideration, with respect to booting, is that most leases and addenda we review do not include language related to booting. If booting is a direction that you would like to go in, you will need to make sure that you have the right language in your lease to allow tenantsâ€™ vehicles to be booted.
Communication is the best prevention to towing disputes. Typically, the tenant is unaware that their vehicle is out of compliance with the lease, and a simple reminder goes a long way in correcting parking violations. However, if youâ€™ve attempted to talk to the tenant, served any required notices and the tenant still isnâ€™t complying with the parking rules, you may need to have the vehicle towed.
As with any enforcement issue, including
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THS ADDS ANOTHER ATTORNEY TO THE FIRM
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hiatus from school and utilized his business degree to work in the private sector acquiring practical real life experiences. While in law school, Christopher competed on the DU Trial Team, joined the Sports & Entertainment Law Journal as a Staff Editor, and helped judge mock trials at local high schools before becoming a peer mentor to incoming law students.
Christopher believes he was always destined to become an attorney as he considers himself to be a problem solver and advocate; and it shows in his keen interest in litigation. One of his professional goals is to try (and win, of course) a case in front of the Supreme Court of Colorado. Chris is the middle child in his family with an older sister and younger brother and as such he learned to appreciate the skill of mediation. In his free time, Christopher enjoys writing sci-fi short stories, harkening back to his first job where he worked at Mile High Comics when he was fourteen years old.
IMPORTANT THS DECEMBER DATES
December 15th AASC ADVANCED FAIR HOUSING
545 E. Pikes Peak Ave
Colorado Springs, CO
December 23rd THS CLOSED AT NOON
ANNUAL HOLIDAY LUNCH
December 26TH ALL COURTS CLOSED
CHRISTMAS DAY HOLIDAY
CHRISTMAS DAY HOLIDAY
January 2nd ALL COURTS CLOSED
NEW YEAR DAY HOLIDAY
NEW YEAR DAY HOLIDAY
You need to include the Date of Birth of Tenants Named on
The Sheriffs are requesting Date of Birth be sent with the writ!
PARKING POLICIES ENFORCEMENT: KNOW BEFORE YOU TOW continued from page 2
parking enforcement, you need to be in compliance with fair housing laws. Your policies must be uniform and consistent for all tenants. Protecting your property from fair housing claims starts with documentation. If your lease provides that you give a tow warning to a tenant, document the day and manner that the tenant received the tow warning. If you have discussed a possible tow situation with a tenant, keep notes on when and what was discussed. If a tow has been done, keep track of the tow details and why the vehicle was towed.
As with any disability related request, keeping an open dialog with your tenant is key. Please refer to the THS June 2013 Newsletter for an in-depth discussion on assessing requests for close-up reserved parking requests.
Remember, you need to have the proper language in your lease to ensure that you have the right to enforce parking violations, and the right to tow a non-compliant vehicle in addition to:
ï¡Proper signage on the property
ï¡Communication with the tenants
ï¡Consistent and uniform enforcement of the lease.
Contact THS for advice if you are unsure about your towing
policies, lease terms, notifications or any possible fair housing related issues.