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FUEL PRICES SOAR and 2030 looms ever closer…

FUEL PRICES SOAR and 2030 looms ever closer … SO… YOU HAVE PURCHASED YOUR BRAND NEW ELECTRIC CAR… proudly drove it home, window down, sunglasses on entering the gates onto the communal area leading to your leasehold home, glancing around – look at me and my car …. Carefully manoeuvre into your allocated parking space …. Jump out “plug in hand” …. “OK where’s the socket?”  we hear the cry !!!

Almost daily now we hear the cry of leaseholders, landlords and managing agents/companies alike – Can we install chargers in the carpark? Why can’t I put a charging unit on my parking space?   What do you mean I don’t own my parking space?   Can I put a charger in the wall adjacent to my carparking space?  Can we install chargers in the communal areas?   How do we calculate the electricity charges?  Do we need an easement?  Who pays for it? Does my lease prevent it.   Can we put a charging unit on the visitors parking area?  What happens if the guy next to me has installed a charger on his parking space and is using communal electricity? … and so on and so on…

As we see more and more people switching to electric vehicles with the 2030 deadline limiting non electric car sales on the horizon, we are receiving a large number of queries about EV charging from freeholders, managing agent and leaseholders.

When considering the installation of EV Charging Points in residential flat developments the first port of call has to be the leases.  Who owns the land on which it is intended to install the charging unit and are easements, deeds of variation or licences to alter necessary.   Will its installation impact on leaseholders’ rights as defined in the leases. Will the installation result in a breach of covenants in the leases?

The most frequent cry is “who pays”.

If the EV charging unit can be installed on a space demised to the leaseholder, then subject to any consents necessary under the lease the installation fee would fall to the leaseholder. Where the parking spaces are communal then consent to the installations would be required from the freeholder.  The leases would need to be reviewed to establish whether the costs of installation could be recovered via the service charges.

Establishing the costs of the electricity is an important and complex issue.  Unless the electricity connection  is direct between the charging point and the property itself  consideration needs to be given as to how to monitor the supply and correctly allocate the costs of it to the user.    The systems used on public carparks, garage forecourts or charging areas may be the way forward.

New regulations are to be imposed encouraging developers to install electric charge units in new home developments but what about existing leasehold properties … as we see more and more electric vehicles and the deadline of 2030 looms ever closer the need to consider the installation of charging points becomes ever more crucial.  It is possible that residential flat developments without the charging facilities will become less attractive to potential buyers and you may face the situation some now face in finding vehicles parked on the grassed areas immediately outside the flat  block with charging units  dangling from a flat window 2 floors up.

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