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Electric Vehicles in Condo Associations

December 19, 2023 General

As the rate of people driving electric vehicles (EVs) has skyrocketed in the past few years, the need for charging stations has necessarily increased.  Although homeowners who are not a part of a homeowners’ association (HOA) or other neighborhood governing body can install EV charges as they see fit, it may not be so easy for renters or members of an HOA. 

Effective October 1, 2022, Connecticut passed what is commonly referred to as “Right to Charge” legislation, codified at General Statutes § 47-216g.  This legislation seeks to provide both homeowners and renters with protections to charging access, while simultaneously ensuring building owners, HOAs, and other neighborhood governing bodies are not railroaded.

For renters or members of neighborhood governing bodies, this legislation effectively prevents discriminatory practices related to charging access.  Most importantly, unit owners may apply to their neighborhood executive boards to install an EV charging station in a unit parking space or a limited common element parking space (subject to approval of unit owners whose use of that space is reserved).  The process of installation, however, once approved, may not be as simple as snapping one’s fingers.  Rather, the unit owner, who requests and “owns” the EV charging station is required to comply with several conditions, related to the physical installation, and is ultimately responsible for the costs associated with maintaining the EV charging station.

There are also a few important changes for building owners or neighborhood governing bodies.  First, the bylaws or declaration of these governing bodies may not prohibit or unreasonably restrict the installation or use of an EV charging station in a unit parking space or limited common element parking space.  Second, the governing bodies may decide to install EV charging stations in the common elements parking spaces for the use of all unit owners and develop appropriate rules for the use of the spaces.  Third, the governing bodies may impose “reasonable restrictions” on EV charging stations, a phrase whose meaning remains TBD.  Finally, if the governing bodies already have EV charging stations at a ratio that is equal or greater than 15% of the number of units, the legislation does not apply to them.

If you need assistance in applying for an EV charging station or need to develop/modify your bylaws to provide for this service, please visit the Landlord/Tenant tab on our website or contact one of our Transactional Law attorneys to schedule a consultation today.