QUESTION: I want to install an electric charger for my car. What does the Civil Code consider an "unreasonable" expense? Since my car is over 100 feet from the meter, it will cost me $4,000 to run electricity & install the charger. Isn't that an unreasonable amount?
ANSWER: The reasonableness of the expense is a matter between you and your electrician. By statute, the association must allow you to install an electric vehicle charging station but the cost is yours not theirs. Following is the relevant portion of the EV statute dealing with reasonableness:
(a) ...any provision of a governing document... that either effectively prohibits or unreasonably restricts the installation or use of an electric vehicle charging station in an owner's designated parking space... is void and unenforceable. (b)(2) For purposes of this section, "reasonable restrictions" are restrictions that do not significantly increase the cost of the station... (Civ. Code §4745.)
The association is not imposing an unreasonable restriction on you nor did it move the meter so as to drive up your costs. You're simply the victim of sticker shock and you cannot expect your neighbors (the association) to subsidize your costs.
Recommendation: Before buying an electric vehicle, owners should investigate the cost of installing the equipment they need to keep it charged.
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