New Vehicle Towing laws for Queensland Strata buildings

towing an illegally parked car in Queensland

Queensland has recently adopted new vehicle towing laws for Queensland strata, clarifying the contentious issue of towing illegally parked cars from common property. Amendments to Queensland’s Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (TOA), and strata regulations clarify towing rules, outlining when and how vehicles can be towed from strata property.

In this article, we review the changes, compare them with previous regulations, and guide you through requirements for towing vehicles from strata property in Queensland. We also review managing illegal parking in strata through alternative preventative means, such as parking bollards.

Understanding the New Vehicle Towing laws for Strata

From May 2024, amendments to Queensland TOA will apply to  directly impact how owners corporations manage the towing of illegally parked vehicles on strata property. The result is that towing laws for Queensland strata have been clarified.

Is Vehicle towing legal on strata property in Queensland?

Yes an the process is now much clearer. 

The new legislation provides owners corporations with the authority to tow vehicles that obstruct access or cause safety issues on common property, and without having to obtain a court or Tribunal order before doing so.

Key Changes and Implications for Owners Corporations

For nearly 27 years, Queensland strata buildings struggled with a dispute resolution system unable to effectively police or enforce parking by-laws. So these recent changes have given some owners corporations a new lens on the possibility of towing illegally parked vehicles from strata property in Queensland.

  • Enhanced Clarity: The new laws offer a detailed framework for towing, reducing the grey areas that previously existed. 
  • Avoids obtaining an order: This new structure actually guides with  steps to follow before permissively allowing towing. Unlike prior rules, strata buildings no longer need lengthy mediation or magistrate intervention before towing vehicles.

In summary, here’s what as an owners corporation of a strata building you need to know about towing illegally parked vehicles:

  • Strata committees can now tow illegally parked cars
  • This applies to cars parked by residents or visitors 
  • You no longer need a warning notice before towing 
  • The tow truck company must still notify the police.

This means quicker action against illegally parked cars on your property 

What are you specifically required to do now to tow a vehicle from Strata property in Queensland?

The new framework under the Queensland Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (TOA) outlines specific conditions under which an owners corporation can tow a vehicle from strata property. While the Act contains the detailed provisions of this framework, there are some clear key aspects you need to abide by.

So, the first thing an Owners Corporation or strata committee should do in Queensland to allow for the towing of illegally parked cars is to set up the proper framework.

Within your body corporate, this set of rules must align with the new laws and includes:

Approve and implement a Towing Policy

Before towing a vehicle, as an owners corporation, you must approve and implement a towing policy, and adopt it in your by-laws. This policy ensures that you comply with the relevant requirements of the TOA, and provides a structured approach to towing on strata property.

  • Your Towing Policy must be consistent with  both the TOA and with transport planning more generally: The objectives of your towing policy must be consistent with the TOA objectives and the broader aspects of Queensland’s Transport Planning and Coordination Act 1994. 
  • Write a clear by-law. The most important thing is to write a clear and legal by-law that incorporates your towing policy and sets the rules for car parking for owners and residents living in the building. This will help avoid confusion and arguments about parking later on.

Practical steps you can take as an Owners Corporation to implement towing:

  • Display signage: You should display clear signage around the property, spelling out the parking rules and consequences for ignoring them. Make it clear you have a towing policy and the terms of it. Specify how and when to tow an illegally parked car, designate who will perform the towing, and provide contact information. Make sure it clearly states that it’s at the driver’s risk and cost.
  • Establish a vehicle registration system at the property. This helps you know who’s parking and for how long. Tech like apps and smart parking bollard systems are really helpful here.
  • Identify the Obstruction: Confirm the vehicle is indeed parked illegally and causing obstruction or safety concerns.
  • Document the Situation: Before towing, document the illegally parked vehicle with photographs showing its position, any relevant signage or markings, and the surrounding area. This documentation can serve as evidence in case of disputes.
  • Make every effort to contact the vehicle owner before towing. What counts as ‘reasonable notice’ can vary. For example, if a car blocks access, immediate towing might be necessary immediately. Either through an email list, physical signs in the lift, lobby or on the noticeboard, or otherwise through your building management platform. 
  • Hire a licensed and insured towing contractor but remember, it’s on you, the committee, to make sure that external contractor follows your rules. In Queensland, only licensed towing companies are authorized to tow vehicles legally. Ensure the towing company you engage is licensed and follows all relevant regulations.
  • Secure Authorization: If required by local regulations or authorities, obtain written authorization to tow the vehicle. This may involve filling out specific forms or obtaining permission from the property owner if the vehicle is parked on private property.
  • Tow the Vehicle: Once you’ve followed all necessary steps and obtained authorization, proceed with towing the illegally parked vehicle to a designated impoundment area. Follow proper towing procedures to ensure the safety of the vehicle and surrounding traffic.
  • Notify Authorities: After towing the vehicle, notify the relevant authorities of the towing and impoundment. This helps maintain a record of the incident and ensures compliance with local regulations.

Remember, the decision to tow always comes from you, the owners corporation or strata committee. You can’t hand this responsibility off to anyone else, not even the building manager or a parking service. So we highly recommend you contact a strata lawyer to review your towing policy and by-laws to ensure compliance with the new legislation.

Keeping towing laws in Queensland strata fair

It’s all about keeping things fair and making sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to parking.

Under the new TOA rules, the towing process involves ensuring any action aligns with state transportation objectives and regulations. This structured approach mitigates legal issues, ensuring fair and just vehicle towing laws for Queensland strata.

For the most accurate understanding, consult the TOA directly or seek legal advice from a strata lawyer. We strongly recommend this approach. You want to ensure compliance with all aspects of the law relating to towing vehicles from strata property in Queensland.

Comparing Old and New Regulations for Towing Laws in Queensland Strata

Previously, the ambiguity around towing led to numerous disputes and confusion within strata communities. The recent legislative changes have aimed to address this by:

  • Providing clear guidelines on when and how a vehicle can be towed .
  • Offering protection to bodies corporate from potential legal challenges when towing is carried out according to the new guidelines .

Is Towing the only answer?

While clearer rules about an owners corporations’ ability to tow vehicles legally in Queensland, towing still comes with its own set of risks and challenges. 

Imagine the scenario where a high-value car gets damaged during towing. Who is liable? Is it the towing company? The strata committee? Is it the driver of the illegally parked car? We would recommend you discuss this with your strata lawyer and insurance company. In addition, you should check with your insurer whether your policy covers you for any damage incurred while towing illegally parked cars? And that’s why it’s so important to only use an authorised and properly insured towing company. . 

New Vehicle towing law suggest to hire a Licensed towing contractor. This is the reason why the white towing truck towed the  silver car.

But how do tow-trucks even get into most underground parking basements?  They are generally very low ceiling heights and not at all towing-friendly. Especially with the common issue of tow trucks struggling to access basement car parks with very low height restrictions. While they may be able enter, low ceiling heights in parking basements mean that tow trucks often don’t have the required height required to hoist the car up onto the towing tray. Then there’s the added risk that when hoisting the car that it hits the fire safety water sprinkler system on the ceiling. Believe me I’ve seen that happen before! ….. Definitely not something you want to have to fix after the fact either!

Wheel clamping, not a viable option in Queensland either as it doesn’t align with the intent of the TOA.

So as an owners corporation, if you want to go down the towing route, it’s imperative to establish a solid and well-communicated towing policy into your by-laws. Following the new towing laws for Queensland strata, keeps you as the owners corporation legally safe, and also leaves some budget for other practical solutions such as new signage or smart parking bollard solutions

Smart Parking Bollards as an Alternative to Towing


The stress and frustration when people park illegally in strata buildings in Queensland is not only a financial burden. It’s a huge emotional and stressful one. And just thinking about having to organise the towing after the fact, policing and monitoring the parking allocation. It’s all just a headache that you could prevent.

Prevention is better than cure! Parking bollards are an effective solution to the problem of towing illegally parked cars in Queensland strata.

Parking Bollards

Serve as physical barriers to prevent unauthorized parking in reserved spaces.

Smart Parking Solutions

Use technology to monitor parking spaces and control access, ensuring only authorised vehicles can park in designated areas.

Monitor who’s using the parking spots


A smart parking bollard solution requires drivers to register their vehicle and contact details before accessing visitor parking bays. This way, as a building manager or owners corporation, you can identify and authorize occupants parking in that spot. If you need to reach them for overstays, you can as you have their contact details. 

By adopting these measures, owners corporations and strata committees can significantly reduce the incidence of illegal parking. This enhances convenience and safety for all residents. Reducing stress, time, and wasted money by avoiding the need to chase elusive offending drivers is significant.

And this also mitigates the risks we discussed about associated with towing earlier.

To conclude: Is Towing Legal in Strata in Queensland? 

Under newly revised TOA rules, towing in Queensland’s strata is legal, adhering to newly established guidelines for compliance. This change empowers owners corporations but also places the onus on them to act responsibly and within the law .

Updates to Queensland’s strata laws and TOA provide clarity and authority to bodies corporate in managing illegal parking and towing. By understanding these changes and considering alternative solutions like smart parking bollards, strata communities can navigate these challenges more effectively. Is this process simple to follow? It certainly seems more straightforward now, but it requires diligence and a commitment to adhering to the new guidelines.