Electric Vehicle Charging Station FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about new regulations for electric vehicle charging systems (EVCSs)
The Ontario Government has recently introduced amendments to the Regulations under the Condominium Act, 1998 (the Act), to establish a process for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations (EVCSs) in condominium buildings.
What is this going to mean for condominium owners?
If you are an EV owner/ potential EV owner…
Then these changes are great news, as there is now a defined process for you to request an installation of an EVCS! The recent changes outline a process and clear requirements of the steps that must be taken by owners and condo corporations to respond to these requests and should help facilitate the EVCS approval and installation process.
If you are not an EV owner…
Then you should be aware that your condominium corporation is now required to respond to, and accommodate (in most circumstances), requests for the installation of EVCSs from owners.
What are the possible financial impacts on condominium owners?
The financial impact to owners will depend on who is doing the installation:
- If the EVCS is being installed by the corporation…
- The corporation must first assess the work required and the anticipated costs. Depending on this assessment, the corporation may elect to proceed without seeking a vote from the owners (provided certain conditions are met1), or they may request a vote from the owners.
- If no vote is required or the installation is approved by a vote of the owners, then the costs are considered a common expense of the corporation. Accordingly, all owners would bear the cost for the installation, in accordance with the statement of proportion set out in the declaration.
- If the EVCS is being installed by an owner…
- The agreement between the owner and the condo corporation will specify exactly who is responsible for paying which amounts.
- Unless otherwise specified in the agreement, however, the owner is responsible for the costs to carry out the installation.
What is the process?
The process for installing EVCSs is different depending on whether the corporation or an owner is performing the installation.
A. Installation by the corporation
In instances where the corporation will be doing the installation, there are two steps that must be completed before work commences:
- Assessing the work and costs required
- Based on the above assessment, either notice will be provided to the owners, or a vote will be held to determine whether to proceed with the installation (costs exceeding 10% of the annual budget for common expenses).
B. Installation by an OwnerWhere the installation will be paid for by an owner, there are four steps that must be completed before work commences:
- Owner creates application
- Owner submits application
- Board responds to application
- If the application is approved, then the Board and the owner will prepare and sign an agreement (step 4.)
- If the application is rejected, the Board must notify the requestor and provide them with the reasons for the refusal2
- Owner and corporation sign agreement within 90 days of approval of the application
What happens in the event of a dispute?
Any disagreement between the corporation and the owner(s) regarding an application or agreement for the installation of an EVCS must be submitted to private mediation and arbitration.
Where in the Act does it indicate the condo manager’s responsibilities in the process of installing EV charging systems?
A condo manager is responsible for the management of the condominium property. As someone who provides “condominium management services” as defined in the Condominium Management Services Act, 2015, the condo manager will work on behalf of the corporation and the board to facilitate the process for the Board to make its decision and manage the implementation of the decision. A condo manager is also noted in subsection 24.5 (3) of Ontario Regulation 48/01 as one of the persons that an application for an EVCS can be sent to.
What role are condo managers expected to play?
The expectation is that licensed condo managers would communicate these new requirements to their boards and work to ensure that they are compliant with the Condominium Act 1998. This expectation is not specific to EVCSs and applies more broadly to a condo manger’s responsibility to provide conscientious and competent services to their clients. Ultimately, it is the board’s obligation to ensure that the requirements are met.
How do condo unit owners and condo corporations address the issue of how costs will be divided? What is the dispute mechanism?
If the condo unit owner makes an application to install an EVCS on condo property in accordance with the new rules, the owner and the condo corporation would be responsible for their own costs incurred for all steps each party takes as part of the application process, unless the owner and corporation agree otherwise. For example, the condo corporation may incur legal costs when reviewing and responding to applications. If the owner’s application is not rejected and not abandoned, the owner would be responsible for the EVCS installation costs, unless the owner and the condo corporation agree otherwise.
If an owner’s application to install an EVCS on condo property is not rejected and is not abandoned, the condo corporation would be required to enter into an agreement with the owner. The terms of the agreement would have to be reasonable and outlining certain conditions. It is anticipated that corporations will take the position that it is reasonable that the owner should bear these costs or most of them as the owner is the one requesting the EVCS.
f a condo corporation installs an EVCS on its own initiative in accordance with the new rules, then the corporation would need to decide how to pay the cost of the EVCS installation. All costs to a condo corporation related to an installation of EVCS would be a common expense (in this case, installation costs would not include costs related to the use and operation of the charging system).
Under the new rules, most disputes relating to the process for owner or board initiatives to install an EVCS would be resolved through private mediation and arbitration.
The Ministry has developed proposed regulatory changes that focus on making it easier for EV owners and condo boards to install EVCSs.
The proposed changes strike a balance among the interests of condo corporations, condo unit owners and residents who own or sue electric vehicles, as well as those who do not.
Why are non-condo residential apartments not included in this initiative of the installation of EVCS in existing multi-unit residential buildings?
The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) currently allows landlords and tenants to make arrangements for the provision of EVCSs.
The government is mindful of the impact of mandating landlords to install EVCSs and the likely result on rent increases and reducing housing affordability for renters.
The new laws for owners and boards to install EVCSs in condos would complement any potential future changes to the Building Code that require new condos and other multi-unit residential buildings to be equipped with EVCSs.
What happens when the condo owner moves?
The agreement between the condo corporation and condo unit owner would need to specify who owns the EVCS or any part of it, and include terms and conditions related to ceasing use and operation of the EVCS or the termination of the agreement. The agreement would bind the unit’s owner, including future purchasers of the unit.
What is the CMRAO doing to help condo managers with respect to these new regulations?
The CMRAO is committed to providing valuable information and useful resources to help condo managers understand and meet their legal and professional obligations.
Condo managers can visit the Resources section of the CMRAO website for regular updates and additional information related to EVCSs. For additional information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
1The two conditions that must be met are: 1. That the estimated cost to the corporation is not greater than 10 percent of the annual budgeted common expenses for the corporation’s current fiscal year, and 2. That the board believes the owners would not consider the installation of the EVCS to be a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of their units or the common elements.
2There are only three permitted reasons for a refusal, as prescribed in O. Reg 48/01: 1. That the installation will be contrary to legislation (including the Electrical Safety Code). 2. That the installation will adversely affect the structural integrity of the property of the corporation. 3. The installation will pose a serious risk to the health and safety of an individual or damage the property of the corporation.