Electric Vehicles: Are Condos Ready for 2035?
Climate change is a reality that affects us all. To contribute to its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote a green economy, the Government of Canada has set up a mandate that all new vehicles are to be zero-emission by 2035. While it is easy for homeowners to set up an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station in their home to charge these vehicles, the same is not necessarily true for condominium corporations. This is because condos have shared common amenities that are to be enjoyed by all unit owners. In today’s blog post, we will examine Canada’s zero-emission target and the necessary changes it imposes on condominium corporations.
How can Condo Corporations comply with Canada's zero-emission mandate?
Regulation 48/01, which has been adopted in accordance with the Condominium Act, 1998, S.O. 1998, c. 19, provides that installations of EV charging stations in condos can be done in the following ways:
1) By the Corporation Independently
The Condo Act in s.97 permits a condo corporation to make modifications to the common elements or services in a corporation under certain circumstances. Section 24.3(3) and (4) of the Regulation, however, provide that corporations are exempt from the conditions under s. 97 of the Condo Act, and can independently install EV charging stations. The Board must however comply with these five requirements:
The Board has assessed the cost to the corporation of the proposed installation.
The cost of installation is not greater than 10 percent of the annual budgeted common expenses for the current fiscal year.
In the reasonable opinion of the board, the owners would not regard the proposed installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the units that they own or the common elements or assets of the corporation.
The corporation has sent out a notice to the owners that describes the installation, payment, and a statement that, in the reasonable opinion of the board, the owners would not regard the proposed installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the units that they own or the common elements or assets of the corporation.
A period of 60 days’ notice must be given to all owners.
When these requirements are met, the condo corporation can proceed to install the EV charging stations.
2) By the Corporation on a Vote
Another way by which the corporation can install EV charging stations is where the Board has not fulfilled the requirements stated above, and the cost of installation is greater than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses, or the owners regard the installation as affecting the enjoyment of their unit or a common asset. Under this scenario, as described in Section 24.3(5) of the Regulation, the Board would have to allow owners to requisition a meeting in order to vote on the installation. This meeting must be requisitioned within 60 days. In addition, the corporation must provide the owners a notice that states their right to requisition a meeting to vote, and also contain a copy of section 46 of the Condo Act and section 24.2 and 3 of the Regulation.
The corporation can then proceed with the EV charging stations installation under this scenario only if:
the owners have not requisitioned a meeting in accordance with s.46 of the Condo Act and within 60 days of the notice;
if a meeting is requisitioned, no quorum has been met at the first attempt to hold the meeting;
if quorum has been met at the meeting, the owners do not vote against the proposed installation.
3) By the Owners
Condominium unit owners themselves can propose the installation of EV charging stations under s.24.5 of the Regulation. Under this option, the owner must make a written application and is responsible to provide the required drawing, specifications or information pertaining to the installation at their own cost. The corporation ,however, must cooperate with the owner and must provide any required information, permission or authorization required by the owner to put together the application (s.24.5(4) of the Regulation). The corporation has 60 days to respond to the request and can only reject such applications on narrow grounds. Finally, the owner and the corporation have 90 days to enter into a Section 98 agreement, specifying the terms and conditions of installation, such as: who is responsible to install, maintain, insure and repair the installation as well as who owns it and who can use it (s.24.6 of the Regulation).
In conclusion, because of the cost of installing EV charging stations, most corporations will take a hybrid approach to the installations, whereby the corporation covers the general infrastructure and owners cover the cost of their own EV station and connection to it. Technology advancement occurs everyday, therefore, it is necessary for condos and real estate stakeholders to take notes and make necessary adjustments to comply with the evolving laws.
At Northview Law, we would love to discuss any questions you have about how recent property law trends may affect you, and any other real estate concerns you may have. You can book a free consultation with Northview Law by following this link, or contact us at 416-639-7639. We look forward to hearing from you soon.