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Vital information on towing

By Frank Higginson01 Sep 2009

Residents and occupiers

An Interim Order has just been made by the Commissioner’s office which:

  • states that a body corporate has no right to tow a car without first issuing a contravention notice (14 days) and obtaining an order from the Commissioner’s office (about four months); and
  • ordered the body corporate to retrieve a towed vehicle at its cost.

The decision will have a seriously detrimental affect on the administration of parking within a body corporate.

The decision leaves bodies corporate in a ridiculous situation, as any infringing vehicle will:

  • almost certainly be moved within the 14 day period given to remedy a by-law contravention notice; and
  • definitely be moved in the further week it can take to obtain an urgent Interim Order - let alone the four months it takes to obtain a final Order from the Commissioner’s office.

Regrettably, we have to advise against bodies corporate deciding that it is worthwhile continuing to tow vehicles, knowing that they will have to pay for their return, in the hope that the owner will change his or her behaviour due to the inconvenience of being deprived of the car for a few days and making the application to the Commissioner.

Visitors

As by-laws do not affect visitors, the decision has no application to visitors, and normal towing practices can be continued.