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How can I have an abandoned vehicle or vessel removed from my property?

Private real property owners may contact a local towing company or law enforcement. Towing services are required by law to contact law enforcement before a vehicle or vessel is removed from private real property. Law enforcement is responsible for determining whether the vehicle or vessel is stolen.

There are specific requirements for apartment complexes and owners and lessors of private real property. Under section 257.252k or 80130o, 81151, or 82161 2014 PA 549, each apartment complex or private real property owner that has a vehicle or vessel removed must have a warning sign posted stating that unauthorized vehicles or vessels will be removed at the owner's expense. The notice must include the name and telephone number of the towing agency that will remove vehicles or vessels from that property and be in letters at least two inches high on a contrasting background. Notices must be permanently installed with the bottom of the notice at least four feet from the ground and prominently displayed at each point of entry for vehicles or vessels. If the property does not have curbs or access barriers, there must be at least one notice for every 100 feet of road frontage. The notice must be in place at least 24 hours before vehicles or vessels can be removed from the property. Private real properties that are single- or dual-family residences are exempt from the notice requirements and vehicles or vessels removed under MCL 257.252d or 80130h, 81151, or 82161 2014 PA 549.

Posted notice is not required if the vehicle or vessel owner has been given personal notice that the vehicle or vessel is parked in an unauthorized area and is subject to removal. The law does not specify whether verbal or written personal notice must be given but a notice may be written into a lease or rental agreement. However, it is recommended that private real property owners provide written personal notices and retain a copy for their files.

A custodian is the person or business or legal entity responsible for the storage of an abandoned vehicle or vessel. Usually, this is the towing agency.

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