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Electric Car Charging

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cbbman

New member
Hi everyone. First time posting on the forums, but I've quietly enjoyed all the advice for a long time. I was hoping someone had some insight regarding charging an electric car at a rental. I'm in CA if that makes a difference.

I've been renting the unit for about 2 years. I have been charging my car at the property (I have an assigned parking space and pay all utilities, including electricity, so I'm not stealing the electricity from anyone), but about 6 months ago I tried plugging in to one of the outlets and was given a warning by the charger that the outlet wasn't properly grounded. I contacted the landlord, and rather than fix the issue, she stated that it was my car causing problems and I was not (and never had been) allowed to plug in at the property. The issues with this were 1) I had actually gotten her verbal permission when I moved in, plus the lease did not forbid charging, and 2) I'm paying for the electricity, and using all factory equipment exactly as recommended by the owners manual (so I'm not doing anything that would create an unsafe environment).

Fast forward to now. She's handing off property management duties to one of her employees and is asking we sign a new lease with the new manager's name. In addition to the new name, she wants the lease to forbid plugging in electric vehicles. So my question is...can she do that even though I'm paying for utilities? Do I have any options, or is it sign the new deal or move out? Obviously I'd prefer not making a stink over anything, but a selling point on moving in was her allowing me to charge in the first place. She's generally been a challenge to deal with, and I've let other things slide to avoid rocking the boat, but this one is sort of a big deal to me.

Thanks all ahead of time!
 


Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Since you are now on a month-to-month basis, they certainly can ask you to sign a new lease. If you refuse, they can (with proper notice) demand that you vacate.

How is it that you pay the cost of electricity for the parking area? Is this an apartment complex, single family residence, duplex, or something else? Where do you plug in that you are actually paying for the electricity for that plug?
 

cbbman

New member
It's an apartment complex. There's a long outdoor driveway and each tenant is given a parking space near their unit. So the standard cord reaches outlets that are on my unit.

So they are able to not allow me to charge there? It just seems kind of strange given that I pay for it. Like telling me I can't plug in a toaster oven or hair dryer.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
It's an apartment complex. There's a long outdoor driveway and each tenant is given a parking space near their unit. So the standard cord reaches outlets that are on my unit.

So they are able to not allow me to charge there? It just seems kind of strange given that I pay for it. Like telling me I can't plug in a toaster oven or hair dryer.
They are allowed to put most any requirement in to the lease - there are statutory exceptions, but this isn't one of them. You aren't required to agree to it, but they don't have to let you live there either. It's really not like telling you that you can't plug in a toaster over or a hair dryer (although they could do that as well.) Furthermore, running an extension cord over the common area is something you shouldn't be doing anyway, as it creates a hazard for others.
 

cbbman

New member
Ok, thank you for the input. I wouldn't run an extension cord across a common area. Besides the hazard to others, it can be dangerous to charge with any kind of extension. I was throwing it directly from my car over my back gate. It didn't cross the common area.

Thank you again for the information though! Most of the available information online is in regards to charging at the expense of a landlord who's paying for electricity, so this was very helpful...although not the news I was hoping for.
 

xylene

Senior Member
Complaints like yours, and landlord friction will be more and more common and litigation and legislation are sure to follow.

Do you want to be the pioneer, or is it easier to just move?
 

TigerD

Senior Member
I drive electric.
See: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB2565
"This bill would, for any lease executed, renewed, or extended on and after July 1, 2015, require a lessor of a dwelling to approve a written request of a lessee to install an electric vehicle charging station at a parking space allotted for the lessee in accordance with specified requirements and that complies with the lessor’s approval process for modification to the property. The bill would except from its provisions specified residential property, including a residential rental property with fewer than 5 parking spaces and one subject to rent control. The bill would require the electric vehicle charging station and all modifications and improvements made to the property comply with federal, state, and local law, and all applicable zoning requirements, land use requirements, and covenants, conditions, and restrictions. "

Consider talking to attorney.
 

FarmerJ

Senior Member
>about 6 months ago I tried plugging in to one of the outlets and was given a warning by the charger that the outlet wasn't properly grounded.< So did you determine if it was your car or the cord you use or If the outlet needed repairs ?
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Hi everyone. First time posting on the forums, but I've quietly enjoyed all the advice for a long time. I was hoping someone had some insight regarding charging an electric car at a rental. I'm in CA if that makes a difference.

I've been renting the unit for about 2 years. I have been charging my car at the property (I have an assigned parking space and pay all utilities, including electricity, so I'm not stealing the electricity from anyone), but about 6 months ago I tried plugging in to one of the outlets and was given a warning by the charger that the outlet wasn't properly grounded. I contacted the landlord, and rather than fix the issue, she stated that it was my car causing problems and I was not (and never had been) allowed to plug in at the property. The issues with this were 1) I had actually gotten her verbal permission when I moved in, plus the lease did not forbid charging, and 2) I'm paying for the electricity, and using all factory equipment exactly as recommended by the owners manual (so I'm not doing anything that would create an unsafe environment).

Fast forward to now. She's handing off property management duties to one of her employees and is asking we sign a new lease with the new manager's name. In addition to the new name, she wants the lease to forbid plugging in electric vehicles. So my question is...can she do that even though I'm paying for utilities? Do I have any options, or is it sign the new deal or move out? Obviously I'd prefer not making a stink over anything, but a selling point on moving in was her allowing me to charge in the first place. She's generally been a challenge to deal with, and I've let other things slide to avoid rocking the boat, but this one is sort of a big deal to me.

Thanks all ahead of time!
Its time to move out. Seriously, it really is time.
 
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cbbman

New member
>about 6 months ago I tried plugging in to one of the outlets and was given a warning by the charger that the outlet wasn't properly grounded.< So did you determine if it was your car or the cord you use or If the outlet needed repairs ?
Thanks all for the extra input! The outlet is not properly grounded. I had an electrician friend look at it. My understanding is that ungrounded outlets are relatively common in older homes, so I don't know if there are any laws about requiring that to be grounded. I just avoid using it with any major appliances.

I'm happy to turn into a pioneer with something like this, but based on the initial feedback it sounds like by including it in the lease, I don't have a lot of options. I will have to consider moving out, but the location and price make it tough to pull the trigger. That's why I've done my best to to avoid any unnecessary friction so far.

I have seen the legislation about requiring electric car charging stations, but unfortunately my complex has under 5 units, so I don't think it applies.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I drive electric.
See: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB2565
"This bill would, for any lease executed, renewed, or extended on and after July 1, 2015, require a lessor of a dwelling to approve a written request of a lessee to install an electric vehicle charging station at a parking space allotted for the lessee in accordance with specified requirements and that complies with the lessor’s approval process for modification to the property. The bill would except from its provisions specified residential property, including a residential rental property with fewer than 5 parking spaces and one subject to rent control. The bill would require the electric vehicle charging station and all modifications and improvements made to the property comply with federal, state, and local law, and all applicable zoning requirements, land use requirements, and covenants, conditions, and restrictions. "

Consider talking to attorney.
Talking to an attorney about what? The OP isn't trying to install an electric vehicle charging station...the OP simply wants to continue running an extension cord to his/her car.

Edit: Of course, the OP could request, in writing, permission to install an outlet at his/her own full expense.
 
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