When you manage an apartment complex, office building or storefront, the condition of the parking lot should be as important to you as the condition of the building itself. The parking lot can make an impression on visitors, for good or for bad, so it should always look neat and presentable. It also needs to be safe for visitors as well as residents, workers and business owners, as you may be liable for any accidents or injuries that happen in the lot. Abandoned and illegal vehicles can be a nuisance on your property and a safety hazard, so note a few tips for avoiding this problem and keeping your lot safe, secure and as presentable as possible.
Have a clearly written policy regarding vehicles
It's good to ensure you have a clearly written policy in a tenant lease regarding vehicles. This policy should prohibit the parking of vehicles in obvious need of repair or which have expired tags and doing any type of car maintenance on the lot. Note in the policy that you reserve the right to tow any such vehicle, with or without notice to the owner. An attorney can help you word this section of a lease agreement so you have less risk of someone leaving an older vehicle on the lot when it's in disrepair or not legally registered.
Cameras around your building's parking lot are a great deterrent from someone simply dropping off a junked or abandoned car, as they may not want to be seen on tape, knowing they could be cited for trespassing or some type of littering violation. Even fake cameras that are not actually hooked up to anything can discourage these ones, as they won't know that they're not really being filmed or monitored.
Have a towing company on call
No matter your policies and security measures, you're sure to find an abandoned vehicle on your lot at one time or another. Having a towing company on call can be a good way to ensure such cars are taken care of quickly. Using the same company repeatedly will mean that you know what paperwork they require to tow a vehicle, and you know where a vehicle is taken and kept, so you can inform the owner if they should ask about their vehicle. Using the same company might even result in a discount for their services if you should need to use them repeatedly!