By Jan Bergemann

Published June 7, 2013


Towing is one of the most controversial issue in association life. And many of the towing companies are using methods that are criminal.


In the last few years government agencies have been trying to crack down on towing companies. County commissions created rules, regulating towing to protect the car owners. Police has been called many times with car owners reporting their car stolen.


The Broward County Commission created a few months back new laws – without much success. Towing companies are plainly ignoring the new rules as described by the Sun Sentinel in the recent article “Towing abuses in Broward still rampant.”


Many people say that TOWING is the modern kind of “HIGHWAY ROBBERY.” It sure is a very lucrative business – with lots of money at stake. That’s why many tow truck drivers ignore rules and regulations. The few fines levied for violating the rules are quickly made up by towing a few more cars. It’s often a cash business – and who really knows what actually happened and where exactly the car was parked when towed.


In associations it’s an often used method to “punish” inconvenient owners – meaning owners who criticize board or manager. And even for some board members and managers it’s a great source of income, since towing companies pay great kickbacks!


The list of outrageous cases of towing and booting is endless. Here are some cases that made the headlines and filled court dockets:
Company Forced To Return Illegally-Towed Cars 

Class action suit filed against 'booting' company

Metrowest residents outraged at HOA

Apopka HOA Towing Residents’ Cars For Parking On Own Grass


Many car owners just pay in order to get their cars back as fast as possible, but some owners of towed cars are so outraged that they are willing to go to court over it. And that’s when it gets really expensive – not always for the car owners. Some associations find out that they don’t even have the power to have cars towed – and order the tow truck anyway.


Other associations have been known to claim that towing is necessary to get cars out of the way that would block the way for emergency vehicles, but on the other hand “forget” to created fast passage for emergency vehicles through the closed automatic gates.


Towing is pretty often used to show some lowly owners what powers managers and board members have. Imagine the surprise when you wake up in the morning and can’t find your car that was parked in your own drive-way?


What say you? Is towing a good measure to teach unruly car owners that they can’t just park wherever they feel like it – or is it a way to show some “disgruntled” owners that contradicting board and management comes with a steep price?

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Jan Bergemann

Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website:

Educational Website:

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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