Car abandoned in a condominium: what can you do?


Emma Potter

In any condominium, the management of common space, such as the courtyard, can often become a source of tension between condominium residents, especially when it comes to parking spaces occupied by apparently abandoned vehicles.

These problems not only affect communal harmony but can also lead to complex legal issues.

But what can you do when an abandoned vehicle occupies a space in the condominium? Is it possible to call a tow truck to remove it?

Let's examine what to do when faced with a car parked for a long time in the courtyard of the condominium, exploring the legal options and correct procedures to effectively resolve the situation.

Regulation of the use of condominium parking lots

Before taking any action, it is essential to understand the current legislation regarding the use of condominium parking lots. The regulations can vary considerably in the absence of a condominium resolution that assigns specific parking spaces to condominiums.

In general, the use of car parks follows the “first come, first serve” rule, unless otherwise established by an internal regulation.

If the parking situation becomes problematic due to the lack of sufficient space, each condominium owner has the right to turn to the judge to request the introduction of a rotation criterion.

This measure is aimed at guaranteeing equal access to common areas, in accordance with thearticle 1102 of the Civil Codewhich protects the right of every condominium owner to use common goods.

Article 1102
Use of the common thing

Each participant can use the common thing, as long as it does not alter its destination and does not prevent the other participants from equally using it according to their rights. To this end he can make the necessary modifications at his own expense for the best enjoyment of the thing.

The participant cannot extend his right to the common property to the detriment of the other participants, if he does not carry out suitable acts to change the title of his possession.

Legal action for the removal of abandoned cars

When you find an apparently abandoned car in the condominium courtyard, the situation requires a cautious but decisive approach.

It is important to remember that it is not possible, in these cases, to call the tow truck directly, since the law does not allow towing from private spaces without specific dangerous or illegal conditions.

The recommended initial action is to send a formal warning by the condominium administrator to the owner of the vehicle. This communication must order the removal of the vehicle promptly, clearly indicating the consequences of failure to comply, including possible legal action.

In case of lack of response or inaction from the vehicle owner, the next step is to appeal to the court. Here two paths can be taken: a civil lawsuit for violation of the rules of condominium coexistence or, in more serious cases where the vehicle is considered special and dangerous waste, even criminal action.

There sentence of the Court of Cassation n. 20492 of 2014 clearly establishes that a vehicle in poor condition and without essential components is considered as “special waste”, making abandonment in the condominium courtyard not only a civil offense, but potentially also a crime.

Insurance implications and conclusion of procedures

An aspect often overlooked, but of fundamental importance in the management of an abandoned car in the condominium courtyard, concerns thevehicle insurance. Recently, the United Sections of the Court of Cassation clarified that even a car that is not used, but parked in an area open to the transit of other vehicles, must be insured.

This means that legal liability can extend to the owner of the vehicle even if it is not in use, raising important questions about safety and compliance.

In conclusion, if an abandoned car is present in the courtyard of a condominium, the steps to follow include an initial warning, targeted legal action if necessary, and a verification of the vehicle's insurance status.

Through the diligent application of these strategies, it is possible to resolve the issue while respecting the rights of all condominium owners.