Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Effective January 1,2012, any restriction that prohibits or restricts the installation or use of an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in a common interest development is void and unenforceable except for those conditions set forth below.
If a homeowner wants to install an EV charging station in a common area or an exclusive use common area (his or her parking space), he or she must meet applicable health and safety standards and requirements imposed by state and local authorities as well as all other applicable zoning, land use or other ordinances, or land use permits. In addition, he or she must obtain HOA approval and agree in writing to the following:
- To comply with the association's architectural standards,
- To use a licensed contractor to install the EV station,
- To provide within 14 days of approval a certificate of insurance that names the common interest development as an additional insured under the homeowner's insurance policy, and
- To pay for all electricity usage associated with the EV charging station.
In addition, the homeowner and each successive owner of the EV charging station shall be responsible for all of the following:
- Damage to the EV station, common areas, exclusive use common areas, or adjacent units resulting from the installation, maintenance, repair, removal, or replacement of the EV station;
- Maintenance, removal, repair, and replacement of the EV charging station until it has been removed from the common area or exclusive use common area;
- All electricity associated with the EV station;
- Disclosing the existence of the EV charging station to buyers and the related obligations of the new homeowner; and
- Maintain an umbrella liability coverage policy in the amount of one million dollars ($1,000,000) covering owner's obligations and naming the HOA as an additional insured under the policy with a right to notice of cancellation.
When approval is required for the installation of an EV charging station, the application must be processed and approved in the same manner as any other architectural application. Approval or denial of the application must be in writing. If an application, is not denied in writing within 60 days from receipt of the application, the application shall be deemed approved, unless the delay is the result of a reasonable request for additional information. Associations may impose reasonable restriction on EV charging stations provided restrictions do not significantly increase the cost of the station or significantly decrease its efficiency or performance.
Boards may grant exclusive use of common areas to members who must run utility lines and install meters in the common areas for EV charging stations to be located in an owner's garage or parking space. Associations may enter into license agreements with owners who install charging stations in the common areas. Installing circuit breakers, conduit and wiring from the association's electrical panel to the parking space can either be done by the owner with the approval of the association. If the common area electrical panel cannot handle the extra load created by the charging station, all costs associated with any required upgrades must be paid by the requesting owner at his or her expense.
California law gives associations and owners authority to install EV charging stations in the common area for the use of all members. It gives authority to associations to develop rules for the use of "public" charging stations and permits associations to create new parking spaces where none previously existed to facilitate the installation.
Owners may install "private" charging stations in the common areas only if installing it in an owner's exclusive use common area is impossible or unreasonably expensive.
When an owner installs an EV charging station, a covenant signed by the owner should be recorded which obligates the owner and any future owners of the unit to satisfy their statutory obligations to maintain the EV charging station and carry the required insurance naming the association as additional insured.