Going Electric: Electric Vehicles in Condominiums

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Do you have an electric vehicle, or would you like to get an electric vehicle, and are wondering how to charge that electric vehicle at your condominium? Electric vehicles are becoming more and more common, and that is fantastic news for the environment. But is your condominium equipped to deal with this change?

If you are unsure about your condominium’s rules and infrastructure regarding electric vehicle charging systems (“EV charging systems”), start by checking the following resources: 

Read your condominium’s declaration and rules. 

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If you do not have copies of the declaration and rules already, ask your property manager and/or board of directors. Does the declaration and/or rules discuss electric vehicles and EV charging systems? If you live in a newer condominium, the documents might. If you’re in an older condominium, the documents likely do not.

When reviewing the electric vehicle provisions in your condominium documents, consider whether they answer the following questions: who pays for the installation of the EV charging system? Who pays the ongoing costs, including monthly hydro bills, maintenance and repair, and insurance? Hint: it’s probably you. 

Review your rights under the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”). 

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Under the Act, an owner can apply to the corporation for an installation of an EV charging system. That means you can ask the board if you can install an EV charging system, and if your application complies with the Act, the board has only a limited list of reasons why they could reject your application. Reasons for rejection include, but are not limited to, if the installation will pose a serious risk: (1) to the health and safety of an individual, or (2) of damage to the property or assets of the condominium. 

If your application is approved, you must enter a written agreement with the corporation regarding the installation which will be registered on title to your unit. Again, the requirements for the agreement are set out in the Act. The agreement will discuss, among other things: 

  1. the manner of installation and cost-allocation for installation of the EV charging system;
  2. duties and responsibilities of both the corporation and the owner, including costs of use, operation, repair after damage, maintenance, and insurance of the EV charging system; and
  3. ownership of the EV charging system.

The corporation can also propose an EV charging system installation to the owners, and if approved by the owners in compliance with the Act, the EV charging system can be installed by the corporation with the costs of the system installation being common expenses of the condominium. 

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Speak with your property manager and/or board of directors. 

You might not be the first owner to approach your property manager or board with this question, and they may already be considering EV charging system options that could benefit you and other owners. 

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common, and it’s time for condominiums to get on board!

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Annie Bailey, Associate Lawyer

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