The Senate Local Government Committee just passed out of Committee an overhauled version of SB 126 which was introduced by Senator Guzman to address the installation of electric car charging stations in apartment buildings and HOAs. In terms of HOAs, the bill as amended, provides as follows:
● HOAs cannot prohibit a unit owner from using or installing, at the owner’s expense, a charging station on or in the owner’s unit.
● HOAs cannot assess or charge a unit owner any fee for the placement or use of an electric car charging station on or in their unit. However, an association may require reimbursement for the actual cost of electricity provided by the Association that was used by the charging station or may charge a reasonable fee for access to electricity.
● HOAs can adopt bona fide safety requirements relating to charging stations.
● HOAs can require that charging stations be registered with the association.
● HOAs can place reasonable aesthetic restrictions on charging stations that relate to dimensions, placement or external appearance.
● HOAs must consent to the placement of charging stations on limited common elements if: (a) the charging station is in compliance with any declarations, bylaws, or rules and regulations of the association; and (b) the unit owner agrees in writing to:
○ Comply with the association’s design specifications for installation of the system;
○ Engage the services of a duly licensed and registered electrical contractor familiar with installation and code requirements of an electrical vehicle charging system;
○ Bear the expense of installation, including costs to restore any common elements disturbed in the process of installing the system; and
○ Provide a certificate of insurance naming the association as an additional insured on the homeowner’s insurance policy for any claim related to the electric car charging station or, if the system is located on common element, reimburse the Association for the actual cost of any increased insurance premium attributable to the charging station.
● If an HOA consents to the installation of a charging station on limited common element and unless otherwise addressed in a written contract or the governing documents of the association:
○ The unit owner (and each successive unit owner with exclusive rights to the limited common element where the charging station is located) is responsible for any costs of damage to the system, any other limited common element or general common element, and any adjacent units, garage stalls, carports or parking spaces that arise from the installation, maintenance, repair, removal or replacement of the charging system.
○ Each successive unit owner with exclusive rights to the limited common element shall assume responsibility for the repair, maintenance, removal and replacement of the charging system until it has been removed.
○ The unit owner (and each successive unit owner with exclusive rights to the limited common element where the charging station is located) shall at all times maintain an insurance policy covering the obligations of the unit owner and shall name the Association as an additional insured.
○ The unit owner (and each successive unit owner with exclusive rights to the limited common element where the charging station is located) 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 HOA.
● A charging system installed at the unit owner’s own expense is property of the unit owner. Upon sale of the unit, if the charging station is removable, the unit owner may either: (a) remove the system; (b) sell it to the buyer of the unit; or (c) sell it to the association.
On a final note, the bill as passed out of Committee, permits HOAs to apply to the state’s Electric Vehicle Grant Fund to obtain funds to install electric car charging stations in their communities.
SB 126 will next be taken up on the floor of the Senate on second reading. Stay tuned to this blog for important updates on SB 126 as it proceeds through the legislative process!