Towing Resources

 

Effective as of September 1, 2021, Texas law now permits self-storage facilities an additional remedy for operators in the event their tenants have defaulted on their self-storage leases (they have stopped paying rent): the ability to tow certain vehicles away from self-storage facilities in lieu of holding a public auction.

While a facility’s lien on property that will be towed will be extinguished the moment the vehicle is towed away from the facility, you will receive the benefit of (a) no longer having the storage space at the facility taken up by such vehicle, and (b) not being liable for any damage that occurs to the vehicle while the vehicle is being towed or after the vehicle has been towed from the facility.

What Items Can Be Towed?

  1. A motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer titled or registered under Texas law;
  2. A motorboat, vessel or outboard motor for which a certificate of title is required under Texas law; and
  3. A motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, motorboat, vessel or outboard motor registered or titled outside of Texas.
Vehicles may only be towed to “vehicle storage facilities,” meaning a garage, parking lot or other facility that is (a) owned by a person other than a governmental entity; and (b) used to store or park at least 10 vehicles each year.

Click here search the online TDLR (Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation) database for a vehicle storage facility/licensed towing operator. You can search by company name, license number, city or ZIP. Please note: Select 'vehicle storage facility' from the dropdown menu when searching by city or ZIP.

What You'll Need to Utilize New Towing Option

  • Signed rental agreement (with required towing law language) between the tenant and the owner/lessor of the facility authorizing the transfer of possession and towing of the applicable vehicles;
  • A Notice of Claim must be given to the tenant, containing certain statutory information (See TSSA’s updated Notice of Claim form);
  • The tenant must fail to satisfy the claim on or before the 14th day after the claim notice is sent;
  • A vehicle storage facility must agree in writing to accept possession of the towed property; and
  • The owner/lessor must transfer possession of the vehicle and tow it to the vehicle storage facility (Bullets three and four are satisfied by using form VTR-265-SSF).

Completing Form VTR-265-SSF

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (the “TDMV”) has updated their form VTR-265-SSF (the “Self-Service Storage Facility Lien Foreclosure” form) that TSSA members should use to satisfy the requirement of the vehicle storage facility accepting possession of the vehicle. This form requires a self-storage operator to complete certain information relating to the vehicle, including:
  • Vehicle Information (e.g., VIN, Year, Make, Model, License Plate, etc.);
  • Lease/Rental Information (e.g., Facility Name and Facility Address, Tenant Name and Address, Date of Lease, etc.);
  • Foreclosure/Public Sale (or Transfer) Information (e.g., Date Possession of the Vehicle was taken, Name and Address of Purchaser or Vehicle Storage Facility, Vehicle Storage Facility Transfer Information); and
  • An Odometer Disclosure Statement.

Additionally, the last page of the TDMV form provides information summarizing the process and procedures for initiating a public auction of the vehicle or the towing of a vehicle to a vehicle storage facility.

Documents Required to Provide to the Vehicle Storage Facility

  • Signed and notarized copy of form VTR-265-SSF;
  • Signed rental agreement/lease with required towing law language; and
  • Revised 2021 TSSA Notice of Claim form with required towing provision.

Links to Towing Forms

The updated Self-Storage Facility Lien Foreclosure Form VTR-265-SSF can be found here. The updated 2021 TSSA Notice of Claim, which now includes the required towing provision, is available for purchase in a print version or as a free download from the Members Only section here. Please note: You will need to log in to your TSSA account to view Members Only resources.

If you are using the TSSA e-Lease with your management software and have not updated to the 2021 lease, click here to put yourself on the update list. Printed leases with the statutory language are available for purchase in the TSSA Shop.

Towing FAQs

Click here to view additional questions and answers regarding the new towing law.