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
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
What Items Can Be Towed?
- A motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer titled or registered under Texas law;
- A motorboat, vessel or outboard motor for which a certificate of title is required under
Texas law; and
- 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.
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 Towing Option
- Signed rental agreement with required towing law language (including TSSA rental agreements versions 2021 or later) 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
- 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.
The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife (the “TPWD”) does not have a specific form to use. You can use this “Vehicle Storage Facility Acceptance of Possession of Property
” TSSA sample form to provide to the VSF removing the boat/outboard motor as proof of acceptance.
Documents Required to Provide to the Vehicle Storage Facility
- Signed and notarized copy of form VTR-265-SSF and/or the “Vehicle Storage Facility Acceptance of Possession of Property” form for boats/outboard motors;
- 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 most up-to-date version of the TSSA
Notice of Claim, which 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
Click here to view additional questions and answers regarding the new towing law.