Maryland Law on Vehicle Abandonment on Private Property

By Maria Lassen
An owner of private property must go through the proper channels to remove an abandoned vehicle.

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A property owner is entitled to have his property free from intrusion. Many apartment complexes and businesses have strict rules about parking permissions. An apartment complex may allow only residents to access parking and most businesses provide parking spaces only to customers. Businesses and private homeowners are entitled to be free from unwanted abandoned vehicles left on their property. In Maryland, to remove an abandoned vehicle left on private property, the property owner must first file a report with the authorities. He can’t remove the vehicle on his own accord. Doing this could possibly subject the property owner to a citation. He could also be responsible any for damages done to the vehicle during the tow.

Abandoned Vehicle

Typically, for a property owner to remove an abandoned vehicle from private property, the vehicle must have been on the property without the owner’s permission for a certain period of time. Ordinances vary according to the city; check the city ordinance covering abandoned vehicles as to how long before a vehicle is considered abandoned. The local police department can provide this information as well.

Filing a Report

If the property is within city limits, most cities in Maryland require the property owner to file a report with the city police department prior to having the vehicle removed. The report form typically requires information on the car model, make, color and year, as well as information about the owner of the vehicle, if known.

Waiting Period

The law enforcement agency will confirm the information in the report and will attempt to contact the owner of the vehicle to give him notice of the possibility of towing. This allows him a chance to pick up the vehicle before it is towed. There is normally a waiting period after notice is given, which is two days in some Maryland cities.

Failure to Comply

The owner of the vehicle has the opportunity to move his vehicle without the expense of a tow and a subsequent storage cost which is usually charged by the day. If he fails to comply with the notice of law enforcement and leaves the vehicle on private property after the waiting period, the Maryland agency who took the report will arrange for the vehicle to be towed.

About the Author

Maria Lassen has many years experience in the legal field. She was a practicing hair and nail technician for 10 years and has been a freelance writer since 2010. Lassen studied creative writing at Bowling Green State University and holds a certificate in paralegal studies.

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