Introduction to HB 24-1051 (Tow Carrier Regulation Bill) and Its Potential Impact on HOAs

Introduction to HB 24-1051

The 2022 Colorado legislative session saw the “Towing Bill of Rights” HB 23-1217 become law and place restrictions on tow carriers largely as a reaction to a lengthy investigation into Wyatt’s Towing by the Colorado Attorney General.

The Tow Carrier Regulation Bill (HB 24-1051) was recently introduced during the 2024 legislative session. In part, it can potentially adversely impact private and commercial entities, including community associations, that oversee and enforce parking regulations on their property.

HB 24-1051 explicitly prohibits active patrol and property monitoring by tow carriers. While not all contracts with tow carriers include provisions for this type of activity, property owners will now have no choice in the matter. This requires property owners, including community associations, to regularly survey their property for any vehicle in violation of parking restrictions. This may be reasonable in some instances, but will place additional strain on entities already struggling with resource allocation issues, particularly those that lack onsite management, are located in densely populated areas, or cover large geographic locations. Our firm, specializing as HOA covenant enforcement attorneys, is prepared to assist community associations in navigating the complexities introduced by this bill.

HB 24-1051 also seeks to shift the cost of removing vehicles to the property owners themselves, which is a significant change. Current law states the owner of a vehicle that is appropriately but nonconsensually towed bears the burden of paying costs associated with the retrieval and storage of that vehicle. Under the new bill, property owners must contractually become responsible for the cost to remove the vehicle, any fees related to notification(s) to the vehicle’s owner, and all vehicle storage fees for the first thirty days.

These changes and cost allocations are likely to have a significant financial impact on property owners seeking to enforce their parking regulations through tow carriers’ services. Further, they may have a chilling effect and disincentivize active parking enforcement on private property, including common interest communities. This may lead to rising tension in neighborhoods and affect the quality of life of residents, particularly residents who are mobility-challenged or who live in high-density urban areas where parking is already otherwise difficult to come by.

Although there may be well-meaning intentions behind this legislation, the broader impacts and unintended consequences may impact vulnerable populations who rely on the enforcement of parking rules within their communities or businesses to maintain order and access. Placing the financial burden on individuals and organizations that are seeking to enforce rules, rather than those that break them, is unfair and short-sighted. For property owners who oversee residential properties, whether rented or owned, the cost of housing is already a pain point for many residents. As stated by the “Colorado Apartment Association” in response to the bill, these additional costs for enforcement will inevitably lead to a higher cost of housing generally.

There is room for a balanced approach that considers the interests of property owners seeking to promote access to businesses and/or residences, with those of drivers who may have made an honest mistake. As a leading HOA Colorado law firm, we’re closely monitoring how HB 24-1051 aligns with existing Colorado HOA required policies.

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