Ohio Real Estate Law: Creating a Private Tow Zone
Written By: JULIE M. GUGINO
Ohio statutes provide that no person, without privilege to do so, shall knowingly enter or remain on the land of another or recklessly enter or remain on the land of another, where notice against unauthorized access is given by actual communication to the offender or by posting in a manner reasonably calculated to come to the attention of potential intruders or by way of fencing manifestly designed to restrict access.
Trespass is prohibited under Ohio law and subject to both criminal penalties and fines as well as subjecting the trespasser to a civil action in trespass. If individuals are trespassing on your Property by parking vehicles on the same, Ohio law sets forth the steps necessary to establish a tow zone on your private property.
O.R.C. §4513.601 provides that an owner of private property may establish a private tow-away zone on their property if the owner posts on the property a sign at least eighteen inches by twenty-four inches, that is visible from all entrances to the property and includes all of the following information:
(a) A statement that the property is a tow-away zone;
(b) A description of persons authorized to park on the property. If the property is a residential property, the owner of the private property may include on the sign a statement that only tenants and guests may park in the private tow-away zone, subject to the terms of the property owner. If the property is a commercial property, the owner of the private property may include on the sign a statement that only customers may park in the private tow-away zone. In all cases, if it is not apparent which persons may park in the private tow-away zone, the owner of the private property shall include on the sign the address of the property on which the private tow-away zone is located or the name of the business that is located on the property designated as a private tow-away zone.
(c) If the private tow-away zone is not enforceable at all times, the times during which the parking restrictions are enforced;
(d) The telephone number and the address of the place from which a towed vehicle may be recovered at any time during the day or night;
(e) A statement that the failure to recover a towed vehicle may result in the loss of title to the vehicle as provided in division (B) of section 4505.101 of the Revised Code.
Some other points of the statute:
- In addition, the towing service utilized by the owner must ensure the vehicle is located within 25 linear miles of the Property, is well-lighted and is within a reasonable distance of a regularly scheduled route of one or more modes of public transportation.
- If a vehicle is parked on private property that is established as a private tow-away zone without the consent of the owner of the private property or in violation of any posted parking condition, the owner may cause the removal of the vehicle by a towing service.
- The vehicle owner and the operator of the vehicle are considered to have consented to the removal and storage of the vehicle, to the payment of the applicable fees and to the right of a towing service to obtain title to the vehicle if it remains unclaimed.
- No towing service shall remove a vehicle from a private tow-away zone except pursuant to a written contract for the removal of vehicles entered into with the owner of the private property on which the private tow-away zone is located.
- Additional requirements for the tow company exist within the statute.
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