Bill Allowing Renters To Install Charging Stations Passes Council In Santa Monica

3 years ago by Jay Cole 33

Renters May Soon Have The Legal Right To Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Renters May Soon Have The Legal Right To Install Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

If you live in Santa Monica, there is a 7 in 10 chance that you rent your residence.

Finally You Can Justify That Cadillac ELR Purchase!

Finally You Can Justify That Cadillac ELR Purchase!

But what to do if you also want to own an plug-in car and your landlord isn’t a big fan of letting you install a charging station?

None of that may matter soon, as bill that just passed Santa Monica City Council and now heads to the State Assembly (AB2565) for approval would take the issue out of your landlord’s hands.

As the Santa Monica Mirror reports, under the terms of the bill if you rent your residence and have a dedicated parking spot that you also lease, a landlord can’t “reasonably” deny a renter the ability to install and operate a charger – provided the tenant covers the cost of the unit, installation and operating costs.

“In our city of about 70 percent renters, it’s going to be very hard for us to achieve our sustainability goals, particularly with respect to electric vehicles, if renters cannot reliably know they can go home and plug in a plug-in vehicle,” Council member Kevin McKeown said. “I’d be ready for a plug-in Prius if I had a plug. But I’m a renter, so I don’t.”

Heopfully Soon Renters Will Be Able To Install Their Own EVSEs In Dedicated Spots

Heopfully Soon Renters Will Be Able To Install Their Own EVSEs In Dedicated Spots

The bill was first introduced by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, who looks to piggyback the plug-in momentum that California Gov. Jerry Brown brought to the state, with the goal of having 1.5 million EVs on the road by 2025.

A note attached to the bill reads:

“Property owners may refuse to allow the installation of a charging station even if the tenant is willing to pay for the installation and operation of the station…The fact that 41 percent of California residents live in multi-family housing and do not have access to parking spaces for charging will remain a challenge. AB 2565 would remove this impediment by stating that a property owner cannot unreasonably deny a tenant the ability to install a charging station if the tenant is willing to pay for all expenses related to the installation and operation of the station.”

Interesting fact included in the bill:  AB 2565 says that in 2012 there was 29,640 plug-in vehicles in California, but only 4,348 public EVSEs.   The bill says the optimal level of public chargers would be in a ratio of 3 to 1 to electric vehicles.

Hopefully this bill passes swiftly and sparks a legislative trend across the county.  The Mirror notes that the California Business Property Owners Association has issued a “letter of concern” in response to the proposed bill.

Santa Monica Mirror

Tags: ,

33 responses to "Bill Allowing Renters To Install Charging Stations Passes Council In Santa Monica"

  1. DNAinaGoodWay says:

    Expect it to be fought hard on a property rights basis. Could a renter install a gas pump if all costs were covered? Infinitely less likely, sure, but that’ll be one argument.

    More public/work charging will still be needed by renters. Not everyone has a dedicated spot. In fact, landlords may try to do away with dedicated spots.

    1. Spec9 says:

      Gas pump is a ridiculous analogy. Gasoline is a toxic and flammable substance that requires special permits to install a tank. Electricity wiring is already present at the apartment building.

    2. Unplugged says:

      As much as we might think to the contrary, landlords are subject to some market forces. One of those is that they offer a reserved spot for parking, especially in areas such as Santa Monica.

      And besides, why would a landlord reject a charging station (or more likely a 240V plug) if the costs are paid by the tenant? That would have no logic.

  2. Phatcat73 says:

    If I was a landlord, I’d be all for this bill as the burden is on the tenant for all costs-which in most case will be cost prohibitive vs a home installation. And when that tenant moves, the infrastructure (at least the wiring) is in place for the next tenant providing the landlord an upsell opportunity–> “Apartment for rent with EVSE support”

    1. Gibber says:

      +1

    2. DocDragon says:

      +2

      … assuming the landlord is “reasonably” smart. 😉

  3. ffbj says:

    The analogy of a installing a gas pump is not appropriate, as the charging station is connected to the grid. You would not have to have a truck pull up to fill your stationary tank with gas. Also various limits on who can install a gas pump would apply. Probably many more rules on who can actually do that.

    It might be a draw for higher end apartment
    complexes to install their own chargers and simply charge the resident a set or pro-rated fee for said charger. Or the landowner could install the chargers and then charge the the ev owner for the installation. With the advent of more and more plug-in vehicles it would worth while for owners to do this.

    1. sven says:

      A CNG home filling station would be a more apropos analogy since it’s connected to the natural gas pipeline system.

  4. taser54 says:

    Government overreach.

    1. Anon says:

      Overreach? Not at all. This is EXACTLY what government is for– addressing issues that mere individuals cannot correct for themselves. Santa Monica’s a PRO EV CITY, and had the nads to implement policy to reduce EVSE hurdles in order to promote wider EV adoption. They are a model for all US Cities.

      Regressive politics here, serve only the interests of wealthy landowners and the oil industry. Keep your tea to yourself, tyvm. Coffee anyone? 😉

      1. Taser54 says:

        Stripping rights from property owners is overreach.

        Want to achieve a goal? Provide home owners with an $$ incentive to install chargers.

        Fiat is a car, not a form of governing.

        1. Anon says:

          Denying EVSE hardware to renters and thereby stalling EV Adoption– is not a “right”, when it directly conflicts with the greater good of society.

          1. Anon says:

            “You can’t install a self-metered clothes dryer where you live. Use a clothesline!” The electric dryer metaphore is much more accurate than the false equivalent of Gas Station, used earlier.

            Seems petty to deny someone acces to an appliance that allows them to live more reponsibly in dense population areas… Pettiness is not a right.

            1. sven says:

              A clothesline has much lower annual and lifetime CO2 emissions than either an electric or natural gas clothes dryer. Isn’t a clothesline more environmentally friendly than an clothes dryer? 😀

        2. DocDragon says:

          The “incentive” in form of $$$ comes from the tenant who would bear the cost of the installation and operation!

          Sounds like a no-brainer to me — unless there is a “reasonable” cause to deny such installation.

        3. Spec9 says:

          This does not cover any ‘property owner’ . . . it only covers property owners who make a business out of renting apartments. Thus it is a commercial regulation not a property regulation.

        4. Mint says:

          If you want to rent out your property in Santa Monica, there are certain standards you must meet when it comes to wiring, pest control, sanitation, plumbing, gas lines, etc. Most of these requirements weren’t there 100 years ago, but as society progresses, so do minimum standards.

          This is no different.

    2. Open-Mind says:

      Liberals like government overreach when it implements their wishes. They also scream the loudest when it doesn’t.

      Conservatives dislike government overreach in general.

      1. Nick says:

        Your statement so abstract, it has no meaning.

  5. John Kalb says:

    Does the tenant tap into the house power infrastructure and monitor and pay the landlord for the energy or do they have to wire the power to their apartment panels? This is the crux of the issue in multifamily buildings I work with and both scenarios have their challenges to organize and manage.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Presumably they would need a separate meter (or a trusted EVSE with a built-in meter) on a dedicated circuit, and if the building’s service needs upgrading due to the addition, that’ll cost a whole lot more I expect.

      It’s certainly a property-rights issue so I’m not terribly pleased, but it’s California so it’s not my problem. However, if I were a landlord and a wealthy, reliable tenant wanted to add an EVSE at their own expense, I’d be pretty happy to oblige even without a law forcing me to.

      1. Anon says:

        Not everyone is as open minded as you, as the bill identifies and targets a common stumbling block to installing EVSE systems where many city dwellers live. Otherwise, there would be no need for this bill…

      2. Spec9 says:

        It is NOT a ‘property rights’ issue. It is a business regulation for people in the business of renting apartments.

  6. kdawg says:

    “Council member Kevin McKeown said. “I’d be ready for a plug-in Prius if I had a plug. But I’m a renter, so I don’t.”
    ————

    I don’t think he choose the best example of a plug-in vehicle.

    I wonder if it would be legal to buy one of these and put it in your parking spot? Then you could take it with you when you moved.

    1. TomArt says:

      I’d like to do something like that, but I’m sure my HOA would go balistic…

      1. Spec9 says:

        Check your local state laws. Many states have laws that say any HOA restriction against solar energy is unenforceable.

  7. Alan says:

    This makes it a little easier for apartment dwellers to have an EV – but I wonder how many would be willing to go through the extra expense, *especially* if their parking place is nowhere near the power meter for their unit; or if they don’t know for a fact that they will live there for many years. I bet this law will be invoked only a handful of times.

    Much better to convince apartment complex owners to set aside a few parking spots for EVs, charge users a reasonable fee to cover amortized costs, and commit to them for the long haul. They could set up a reservation system, in case some people need to charge only every other day.

  8. TomArt says:

    It would be a hell of a lot easier if all EVs had on-board chargers so that they all could plug into a dryer outlet…costs, what, $2.50 at Home Depot? Takes up about 6 cubic inches of space and universal. The only concern would be installation.

    But when automakers insist on these ridiculous payphone-sized wall charging units, then, I’d be resistant as a landlord, too. I would have a clause in the lease stating that they would pay for removal and take it with them, if it was a model-specific charging unit.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      Here’s the solution (Space-wise, not cost-wise).

      http://evsolutions.avinc.com/turbocord

    2. Spec9 says:

      They DO all have on-board chargers. EVSEs are just AC cords with a little bit of handshake & ground fault protection.

  9. Spec9 says:

    Didn’t we already pass a state-wide law that allows renters to install?

  10. ModernMarvelFan says:

    “if you rent your residence and have a dedicated parking spot that you also lease, a landlord can’t “reasonably” deny a renter the ability to install and operate a charger – provided the tenant covers the cost of the unit, installation and operating costs.”

    I don’t see any reasonable landlord denying the installation of the stations as long as the renter pay for it. In some way, it is renter paid home improvement. When the renter leave, I don’t see the renter rip out the wiring, maybe just the station. So, overall, the landlord still benefits.

    But since renter is going to should all the cost, that would prevent majority of the renter from doing this anyway.

    1. Spec9 says:

      It is not even legal for the renter to rip out the wiring (although I’m sure some will). Once you install something permanent like that, it is a ‘fixture’ and thus part of the property.