City Of Houston -PRIVATE STORAGE LOTS – Operational Rules and Regulations

Operational Rules and Regulations

Sec. 8-171. – Persons authorized to operate lot.

Sec. 8-172. – Business name; fences, paving, signs, etc.

Sec. 8-173. – Inspection and report.

Sec. 8-174. – Use of fenced area required.

Sec. 8-175. – Inspection by police.

Sec. 8-176. – Right of owner of stored vehicle to inspect wrecker slip.

Sec. 8-177. – Release of liability, waiver of rights, etc., prohibited.

Sec. 8-178. – Duty to provide attendant, etc.

Secs. 8-179—8-190. – Reserved.

 

Sec. 8-171. – Persons authorized to operate lot.

No person other than the person to whom an authorization to operate a private storage lot has been issued, or his agents or employees shall operate the storage lot.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01)

Sec. 8-172. – Business name; fences, paving, signs, etc.

(a)

No name other than the name set out in the application as the name under which the business is conducted may be used for advertising, for telephone listing or for the conduct of the automobile storage business at a storage lot authorized to operate as a private storage lot.

If a storage lot authorization holder desires to change the name under which it conducts business, the authorization holder shall file a notice of such change with the police department on a form designated by the city at least ten days before the name of the storage lot is changed. Such notice shall show the license number issued under article II of this chapter for the storage lot, the current name under which business is conducted, the name that will be used, and the date on which the change of name shall be made. Only one name may be used at any one time for the conduct of business at a private storage lot.

(b)

Each storage lot operating under an authorization issued under this article:

(1)

Shall be completely enclosed by a fence of at least six feet in height, with a gate that is locked at all times the authorization holder or an agent or employee is not at the storage lot;

(2)

Shall have an all-weather surface of concrete, asphalt, blacktop, stone, macadam, limestone, iron ore, gravel or shell;

(3)

Shall have a sign clearly readable from the street setting out the name of the storage lot, the street address, the hours vehicles will be released to vehicle owners, and the city license number of the storage lot;

(4)

Shall have a sign setting out the charges for towing vehicles, the per diem charge for storage and all other fees that may be charged by the storage lot. This sign shall be located so that it is clearly visible to a vehicle owner prior to payment of the fees;

(5)

Shall have an operable telephone. If at any time, the number of the telephone located at the storage lot is changed from the number set out in the application for authorization to operate as a private storage lot, the authorization holder shall give written notice of the change to the police department prior to the date the new number is used setting out in such notice the name of the storage lot, its location, its city license number, the old telephone number and the new telephone number.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01)

Sec. 8-173. – Inspection and report.

When the authorization holder, agent or employee of a private storage lot accepts a vehicle towed without the consent of the vehicle owner, such person shall inspect the vehicle and note as an addition on the wrecker slip any differences from the information previously set out thereon, but shall not write over or deface in any manner any prior writing on the wrecker slip. If the license plate number or vehicle identification number on the wrecker slip was incorrect, the storage lot shall notify the police department of the correct number within 30 minutes of the time the vehicle was delivered to the storage lot if delivered during hours the storage lot must ensure that vehicles may be released or within two hours from the time the storage lot must ensure vehicles may be released if the vehicle was delivered during any other time.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01)

Sec. 8-174. – Use of fenced area required.

No vehicle may be stored or kept on any private storage lot operating under an authorization issued under this article unless it is kept inside the fenced area at all times.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01)

Sec. 8-175. – Inspection by police.

The authorization holder shall ensure that all automobiles and parts thereof located on a storage lot are available and accessible for inspection by any police officer during the hours the storage lot must ensure that vehicles may be released to vehicle owners.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01)

Sec. 8-176. – Right of owner of stored vehicle to inspect wrecker slip.

Whenever a person claims ownership or right of possession to a motor vehicle located on a private storage lot operated under an authorization issued under this article, such person shall be entitled to inspect the wrecker slip for the motor vehicle, and shall not be required to pay any fees or charges prior to inspecting the wrecker slip.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01)

Sec. 8-177. – Release of liability, waiver of rights, etc., prohibited.

No private storage lot authorization holder, or agent or employee, shall ask or require any person to sign any statement or form containing a statement releasing a storage lot, its owner, or its agents or employees, from any liability or waiving any rights the person may have against the storage lot, or his agents or employees, prior to the release of a motor vehicle; provided, however, the storage lot may request a person to sign such a release or waiver if the vehicle is being released without any charges for towing, preservation or storage and there has been no hearing held in regard to the removal of the vehicle pursuant to chapter 685 of the Texas Transportation Code. A private storage lot may require persons claiming a vehicle to sign a receipt acknowledging that they have in fact received the vehicle after the vehicle has been delivered to the vehicle owner.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01)

Sec. 8-178. – Duty to provide attendant, etc.

The authorization holder of a private storage lot that has on its property vehicles that were towed without the consent of the vehicle owner shall be responsible to ensure that vehicles may be received at any time and that motor vehicles may be released to the vehicle owner at least between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. daily. During the hours the authorization holder shall ensure that vehicles may be released, someone must be on the storage lot who has authority to release the vehicles to the vehicle owners or a phone must be provided so that a vehicle owner can contact someone who is able and will in fact be at the storage lot within 30 minutes of receiving such a call and who is able to release the vehicles.

(Ord. No. 01-1079, § 5, 12-5-01)

Secs. 8-179—8-190. – Reserved.

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