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Oct 23, 2018
Services: Condominium Law

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Condominiums

Introduction:

With the rush to make electric vehicles the new standard for consumer transportation, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement that such advancements can bring. With this new technology, and its promise of efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly transportation, also come new challenges.

In May 2018, Ontario Regulation 48/01 was amended specifically to make the installation of electric vehicle charging stations easier and more efficient for both condominium corporations and unit owners.

Installation by Corporation or Unit Owner:

A corporation may install an electric vehicle charging system on the common elements and be exempt from section 97 of the Act (changes to the common elements or assets) should certain conditions be met.

The proposed system must be on all or part of the property owned by the corporation. A report must be prepared indicating whether the estimated costs of installation are below ten per cent of the budgeted annual common expenses for the year, with a statement included that owners would not consider such to be a material reduction or elimination of their use and enjoyment of the common elements.

Should these conditions be present the corporation may install unilaterally. Should the report indicate the estimated costs are above ten per cent of the budgeted common expenses, notice must be given and a vote of the owners may be required. If within sixty days of providing notice, the board has not received a requisition from fifteen percent of the owners; or if a meeting is held and a majority of owners vote in favour, installation may then proceed.

If a unit owner desires to install an electric vehicle charging system, the new regulations establish an application regime exempting such installation from section 98 of the Act. The unit owner must submit an application to the board outlining the proposed location and technical specifications of the system.

The application must also contain a statement that the proposed installation is not contrary to the Act or the regulations and complies with the applicable electrical safety codes. The board must approve the application unless, in the opinion of a qualified professional, such installation will be contrary to the applicable electrical safety code; adversely affect the structural integrity of the property or the assets of the corporation; or pose a serious risk to the health and safety of an individual.

Bottom Line:

When the above conditions are met, the installation is exempt from sections 97 or 98 of the Act, however, an agreement between the unit owner and the corporation is still required.

The agreement must outline the manner of the installation; the allocation of costs; set out the maintenance and repair obligations of both parties; and specify ownership and insurance requirements. Boards beware, should a unit owner apply for installation a simple response of “no” will no longer suffice.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstance.