A car is abandoned on your private property? What should you do? First, it’s important to call your local police department and report the violation. Next, take photos of the vehicle to document any damage done.
It might seem like a treasure for a homeowner to find a cheap (or even free) car sitting on their property. It is best that you get it out of your property. But before you head out and offer your services as an auto mechanic by stripping the vehicle for parts or using it as your own, there are some things you should know about this situation.
-Post signs on the abandoned vehicle that you own this private property, and all vehicles are to be removed immediately or they will be towed at the owner’s expense. This is a great way to get rid of unwanted cars without any legal repercussions, but it might not work in every state. Make sure your local laws allow for it before doing this.
Check out the laws where you live and contact your local police and town officials first. In some cases, vehicles are considered abandoned if they have less than $200 worth of gas in them. Others may be considered abandoned if they have been parked on private property for more than 30 days without permission from the owner.
Some states also allow citizens to report abandoned vehicles online or by phone and give them one phone call or notice before disposing of the car themselves (yep–they can do that in some cases).
It is critical to understand that just because a car has been parked on private property for many periods, it is not considered abandoned.
Each state has unique requirements for abandoned vehicles. You can find more in-depth information by looking at the Department of Transportation in your area.
If the car is blocking public access, it will need to be removed. This could mean contacting a tow company or your local police department for help with removing an abandoned vehicle from private property. If possible, clean up any oil spills caused by the car draining its fluids while left on your property.
Don’t forget to document this with photos and send them along with your following letter or email that you may wish to send. If the car has license plates, you need to turn these in to be taken off of any abandoned vehicle list.
If there are any fees included with removing an abandoned vehicle, be sure to note them down so you can include this in your final communication.
This will serve as evidence that the fees are owed, which could come along with possible legal action if not paid soon enough. If possible, you should attempt to contact any lienholders associated with the vehicle through various methods, including but certainly not limited to; email, phone calls, and certified letters.
Keep in mind that there is no time limit for contacting these parties, so if you can’t find a lienholder after two weeks, this doesn’t mean the process should be abandoned.
-Call a scrap yard and see if they would be willing to take it for free or at least pay you something, even just a few bucks. Scrap yards will sometimes come right away before the car gets towed to avoid missing out on this kind of opportunity.
What’s next? This will depend on whether or not a situation has been resolved by following all of these steps. If you have reached out to all parties associated with the vehicle and haven’t heard anything back, it’s time to consider hiring an attorney.
In Conclusion, If you end up with an abandoned vehicle located on your property, make sure you dedicate enough time to research laws and regulations to make sure that you aren’t getting yourself into any trouble. If anyone else is interested in taking the abandoned car, don’t forget to ask them if they can offer you something for it before heading out the door.