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Law Maven
Law Maven, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 164
Experience:  Lawyer & Instructor at Algonquin Careers Academy
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Is it legal Quebec property owner to hire an Ontario

Customer Question

Is it legal for a Quebec property owner to hire an Ontario towing company to tow cars from the Quebec property?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Law Maven replied 2 years ago.
Hello – my name is***** am a Canadian lawyer, and I’ll be happy to help with your question today, but I will need some more information to give you a full answer. You could almost certainly hire an Ontario company to tow cars off your property in Quebec as long as:1) You have the properly required signage on your property that warns people who park there that they will be towed.2) The Ontario company tows the cars to a reasonably close impound lot. In order to know for sure, I would need to know where in Quebec the property is located, as rules regarding towing and what warning signs are needed are usually municipal by-laws. Also, even if the by-law is silent about whether or not a cross-border tow is legal, the chances are that if someone refused to pay to retrieve their car from Ontario and went to small claims court, the Court would rule that it is unreasonable to tow a car to a different jurisdiction, unless that works out as being much closer, and less expensive for the car owner than having the car towed by a Quebec towing company. In that situation, I expect the car owner would win. If you can give me a bit more information regarding the location of the property and where the towing company would be taking the cars, I can give you a more detailed answer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I live in Ottawa and was working in Gatineau yesterday. My car was towed from private property. Although it was signed properly, signage was not easy to see, the lot was empty and there was no one on staff to take money. The impound lot staff don't respect the lot owner and told me that I should get my tow money back as it is "illegal" to use an Ontario towing company to tow cars from one private property location in Gatineau to another private property location in Gatineau. Before I go any further, I want to make sure the impound staff are correct - Is it legal for a private property owner in Quebec to tow a car from the private property to an impound lot (privately owned) using an Ontario towing company? I hope this is clearer.
Expert:  Law Maven replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, ***** *****!You have a couple of options in this situation. If the signage was partly concealed by bushes or trees, or was placed in an inconspicuous place to begin with, you can refuse to pay the towing fee on the basis that the property owner has not upheld their duty to post prominent signs regarding the circumstances under which a car will be towed. If you plan to do that, I would strongly suggest taking pictures of the parking lot now, so that if the lot owner cleans up or moves signs between now and taking you to court for non-payment, you have proof of your claim. You could also refuse to pay on the basis that it was illegal for the property owner to hiring an Ontario towing company, and then hope that neither the towing company or the property owner chooses to take the matter to Small Claims Court. I have not found any by-law, or licensing requirement for tow-truck companies that would deny Ontario tow-truck companies access to towing contracts in Quebec. Some cities do have tow truck licensing rules, but at present neither Ottawa nor Gatineau do, and it appears that towing companies on both sides of the river offer services on either side. I hope I have fully answered your question, but please do not hesitate to ask for more information if needed. When you are satisfied with the answer, kindly provide me a positive rating so I can receive credit for my answer. My answer here contains only general legal information and not legal advice. No solicitor/client relationship has been created by this communication.