Contrary to what you may feel, living in a Homeowner Association that is governed by Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (usually known as CC&R’s) is a great advantage which ensures the quality of life of the entire association by encouraging compliance to these rules.

Most often, board members are accused of being heartless dictators on a power trip (or worse). You may be surprised to know that Board Members are also homeowners, just like you, who lives in your association. Contrary to what you may believe, Board Members are under legal obligation to enforce the association’s CC&Rs. Not only are they volunteering their time and family time but they are also in charge of the entire community’s maintenance and community life. While you may think he/she is up to no good, chances are he/she is quietly helping you by increasing the property value of his entire neighborhood.

PATROL MASTERS enforces the rules and regulations of your homeowners association, building management or property administration on their behalf. We do not replace or take jurisdiction away from the local police department. We never claim to do so. We rather enforce the rules and regulations that the homeowners association, building management or property owners and administrators ask us to enforce; rules and regulations over which the police department or city governments have no jurisdiction.

According to CVC section 22658. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), an “association,” as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1351 of the Civil Code, of a common interest development, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1351 of the Civil Code, may cause the removal of a vehicle parked on that property. For more info, please check the entire CVC section 22658.

Ignorance of laws, rules or regulations is no effective defense against it. Every homeowner is given a copy of the neighborhood CC&R’s and parking regulations upon Escrow. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to read these rules, understand them and abide by them. That being said, we understand how upsetting it can be to have your main means of transportation towed. Having a vehicle towed is not something that we do lightly and we take care to make sure that we do it properly and we document all pertinent evidence. Unless you can prove that it was towed wrongfully, we cannot refund your towing charges.

Unfortunately no. It is the homeowners responsibility to inform their guests of the parking rules and regulations, making sure they know when, where and how to park when they visit.

No. According to the California Vehicle Code Section 22658, the association is only required to have one fire lane parking sign per each entrance to the community only.

“22658. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), an “association,” as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1351 of the Civil Code, of a common interest development, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1351 of the Civil Code, may cause the removal of a vehicle parked on that property to the nearest public garage if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

(1) A sign not less than 17 by 22 inches in size with lettering not less than one inch in height appears at each entrance to the common interest development and contains both of the following:

(A) A statement that public parking is prohibited and all vehicles not authorized to park on the common interest development will be removed at the owner’s expense.

(B) The telephone number of the local traffic law enforcement agency. The sign may also indicate that a citation may be issued for the violation.

Please contact your Homeowner Association management company.

To avoid this type of issue, although we are not required by law to take pictures of vehicles we tow, we do take them. We submit the report, the history of the infraction and all pertinent evidence of the tow to the authority that manages your property the same day it occurs. This report includes a picture of the car that was towed and documents the infraction. To get a copy of that information, please contact your property management company.

The statute of what constitutes parking and what constitutes storage depends on the Homeowners Association’s CC&R and may vary from case to case but having a vehicle parked in a common area for extended periods of time is not desired by any Homeowners Association. It is for this reason that most associations require that we monitor and track common parking areas for vehicles that appear to be immobile for a period of time. The citation you received is nothing but a courtesy notice alerting you to the fact that your vehicle is now being monitored. After a specified amount of time (which may be anything between 24 to 96 hours, according to your neighborhood’s CC&Rs) the patrol officer will check back on the vehicle. If still unmoved, the vehicle will be considered to be in storage and subject to be towed at the owner’s expense. If according to our monitoring system the vehicle has been moved during the monitoring period, the citation is no longer valid and by your ruling CC&Rs, your vehicle will not be towed.

Regardless of the size, make or model, most property administrators define commercial vehicles as any vehicle that has (but not limited to) some of the following characteristics:

  • Is a passenger bus
  • Is equipped with exposed or visible racks, fixtures and compartments for the transport of tools or items used in performing a commercial service
  • Has built-in or detachable ladders
  • Has built-in tool-boxes or carries tool boxes and other construction tools and materials on a regular basis
  • Is over 3/4 tons in curb weight
  • Has visible logos or lettering for commercial or advertising purposes
  • Has visible company names for commercial or advertising purposes
  • Has visible telephone numbers for commercial or advertising purposes

Most property owners define recreational vehicles as (but not limited to) vehicles that has some of the following characteristics:

  • Is a motor home or RV
  • Is a trailer of some sort, usually designed to transport recreational equipment
  • Is a watercraft
  • Is an aircraft
  • Is a cab-over camper

Some associations require that we keep track of how many times certain vehicles park in guest spaces to avoid excessive use and abuse. With this in mind, when required by the property managers, our officers will keep track of vehicles that frequent the common parking area by noting their license plates on a nightly basis. The authority that sets the maximum amount of days a particular car can overnight in the common or guest area is the property manager and it is usually but not always of 4 days within a 30-day period. Your CC&R should specify this limit. If a vehicle has reached the limit, a courtesy notice will be issued alerting the vehicle owner that the vehicle has exceeded the days allowed in guest parking. If the vehicle is found again within the Inventory Window, the vehicle might be subject to towing or ticketing, according to your CC&R. The Inventory window is the look back period for determining inventory, citation and towing status based on previous inventories and citations.

This depends on the CC&R that your homeowner’s association or property manager establishes but more often than not, a vehicle being towed does not wipe the slate clean. If, for example, the rules of your property state that you may only park a vehicle in a common area for a maximum of 4 days every 30 day period under penalty of towing or ticketing, you will be either ticketed or towed on your fifth infraction, according to your CC&R. If you the vehicle is found in violation a sixth or seventh time during the hypothetical 30 day period, (the ticket or inventory window) your vehicle will be towed over and over again.

The ticket or inventory window it is the look-back period of time for determining repeat citation or towing status and is based on previous citations. Most ticket windows are on a “continuing” mode, not calendar windows. For example, if your vehicle was first cited in March your CC&R specifies a ticket window of 180 days, then that citation is a valid and will count toward future actions against this vehicle until September.

We do not discriminate against anyone or play favorites. Our patrol officers do not know who is who or which car belongs to which person and strive to enforce all rules evenly, across the board, as specified by your ruling CC&R. If your vehicle was towed and your neighbor’s vehicle was not, it is probable that there are other circumstances to which you are not privy to. Some such factors might be that (but are not limited to) the vehicle being safe-listed, having a permit you are not aware of or – in case PATROL MASTERS is not deployed on a around-the-clock basis - the vehicle was parked after the patrol officer left the property. Unfortunately, while you can obtain the reasons and circumstances why your vehicle was ticketed from your property management authority, for privacy issues, we cannot release information such as why one vehicle was ticketed and another was not.

Safe-listing is a practice that some associations engage in to prevent certain vehicles from getting cited or towed. This is not an exemption from ruling CC&Rs but rather an alternate set of rules which allows for more lenient parking restrictions. Typically, this measure is paired with a safe-list inventory window so as to prevent misuse or abuse. When implemented, safe-listed vehicles are (typically) allowed to use a common parking space up to 10 times in any 180-day period instead of (typically) just 4 times per any 30 day period. This practice is not applicable to every association and your property management authority may not support safe-listing.

While this may feel like the most logical, courteous and effective measure, this system does not work for several reasons. Past experience across the entire industry indicates that while undoubtedly good natured, it backfires and rather than increase parking compliance, it drastically decreases it. Some of the reasons why we do not simply knock on your door and notice you personally is that once this practice is adopted, the deterrent of a towing action is eliminated, which in turn leads to rampant parking violations. Also, since our recording actions take place during evenings, our well-meaning officers have been both physically and verbally attacked for attempting to warn the proprietors of the vehicle that we would tow their vehicle unless they complied. So, to avoid any confrontations, enforce established parking rules and get maximum results, we issue notices, tickets and we carry out towing actions but we do not knock on doors.

This feature is popular with office-buildings that offer parking spaces, somewhat popular in homeowner associations depending on the scarcity of parking spots and security concerns and nigh-inexistent in shopping centers and malls. It is usually issued in places where parking spaces are a premium and restricted. These types of permits are becoming popular among residential properties nowadays since it is a great tool to enforce parking discipline among residents and avoid parking abuses. In some cases a parking permit is associated with a specific parking space that is issued and reserved just for you. Failure to comply with the parking rules or properly display your permits will usually provoke either immediate fining and/or towing of your vehicle. In cases in which you are issued a specific parking space, failure to park within that same parking space (even if you were parked in the space right next to it) is an offense. Parking permits come in many forms, shapes and sizes but usually take the form of hang tags to be placed in the arm of your rear-view mirror or actual stickers which adhere to the inside of your windshield.

This depends largely upon the property management authority as they may either wish to keep control of permit issuance and ask PATROL MASTERS to simply enforce parking regulations or allow PATROL MASTERS to fully manage all aspects of parking on their behalf. If your homeowners association is in charge of issuing parking permits, you may wish to get in touch with them. If we are managing the process, please contact us.