Extensive Electric Car Charging Station Bill Impacting HOAs Just Introduced in the Colorado Senate

Senate Bill 13-126 (“SB 126”) was introduced by Senator Lucia Guzman today in the Colorado Senate. The bill, which is intended to provide consumers with the ability to charge electric cars in apartments, condominiums and common interest communities, is quite extensive and could have significant implications for existing condominiums. Here’s a synopsis of how the bill, as originally introduced, impacts associations:

Associations shall not:

● prohibit a unit owner from installing (at the owner’s expense) for the unit owner’s use a level 1 or level 2 electric vehicle charging system in a unit owner’s garage stall, parking space or carport.

● Assess or charge a unit owner any fee for the placement or use of an electric vehicle charging system; except that the association may require reimbursement for the cost of electricity provided by the association that was used for the charging system.

 

Associations are permitted to adopt:

 

● bona fide safety requirements, consistent with an applicable building code or recognized safety standard, for protection of persons and property;

 

● a requirement that the charging system be registered with the association within 30 days after installation;

 

● reasonable aesthetic provisions that govern the dimensions, placement, or external appearance of an electric vehicle charging system. In creating reasonable aesthetic provisions, associations shall consider:

            ○ the impact on the purchase price and operating costs of the system; and

            ○ the criteria contained in the governing documents of the condominium.

 

Associations are required to consent to installation of the charging systems on limited common elements or general common elements if: 

 

● the system is in compliance with any declarations, bylaws, or rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions outlined above; and

 

● the unit owner agrees in writing to: (a) comply with the association’s design specifications for installation of the system; (b) engages the services of a duly licensed contractor to install the system; and (c) provides a certificate of insurance naming the association as an additional insured on the homeowner’s insurance policy within 14 days of receiving the association’s consent for installation.

 

If an association consents to installation of a charging system on limited common element (including a parking space, carport, or garage stall) then unless specified in a written contract or in the declaration, bylaws, or rules and regulations of the Association: 

 

● the unit owner (and each successive unit owner with rights to the limited common element) is responsible for the costs associated with any damage arising from the installation, maintenance, repair, removal, or replacement of the charging system to: (a) any other limited common element or general common element of the condominium; and (b) any adjacent units, garage stalls, carports, or parking spaces. 

 

● the unit owner (and each successive unit owner with rights to the limited common element) is responsible for the repair, maintenance, removal, and replacement of the charging system until the system has been removed.

 

● the unit owner (and each successive unit owner with rights to the limited common element) must at all times have and maintain insurance coverage relating to the charging station on their homeowner’s policy and name the association as an additional insured.

 

● the unit owner (and each successive unit owner with rights to the limited common element) is responsible for removing the system if reasonably necessary or convenient for the repair, maintenance, or replacement of the limited common elements or general common elements of the condominium. 

 

The bill is extremely unclear regarding what provisions apply to planned communities as opposed to condominium associations. In addition, the concerns that condominiums and associations with attached units have relating to charging stations would significantly differ from concerns in single family home communities.

 

CAI’s Colorado Legislative Action Committee (“CLAC”) is currently reviewing SB 126 and will actively engage in addressing issues relating to the bill.

 

As always, stay tuned to this blog for important updates on SB 126 as it proceeds through the legislative process and other bills impacting HOAs!

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