Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in California

What is the law in Santa Clara County, CA regarding how often you need to move a licensed, registered, running car that is parked in the parking lot of the apartment complex that you live in/rent from? What are the legal definitions of a "stored" car and an "abandoned" car? Can my apartment complex force me to move my car every 72 hours. And if I don't move it state that it is "abandoned" and have it towed?

Asked on 11/13/13, 10:23 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

That is not a matter of law, but rather between you and your landlord. The complex is private property. They can make any requirements or limitations they want on how vehicles are parked on their property, unless they act in violation of the terms of your tenancy, e.g., the lease can't say you have to move your car once a month and then they tow it for being there 72 hours. But if the standing rules are that a car is stored or abandoned if left unmoved for 72 hours, then they are entitled to enforce that. On the other hand, if there is no posted notice of the 72 hour limit, and it was not in your lease or any rules or regulations of the complex that were provided to you, and you had no other notice of the 72 hour limit, then 72 hours seems pretty short to declare a vehicle stored, much less abandoned. In that case the vehicle was probably towed improperly.

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Answered on 11/13/13, 10:35 am

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