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Installed a Tesla charger in my condo garage. Other owners are forcing me to remove it. Thoughts?

Andre Mercier

Member
Mar 16, 2016
30
301
Los Angeles, CA
I live in an 8 unit condo building, each one owned by individual owners. I'm also the president of the HOA. In past HOA meetings I have brought up the fact that I'm planning on installing a Tesla charger in my dedicated parking spot in our condo garage. Nobody objected to it when I brought it up in the past.

Fast forward to taking delivery of my Model 3, I wanted to make sure that I had a charger installed in time for the car to arrive, so about a month ago I fast tracked an install and had an electrician come out and run the wiring from the panels on the outside of the building up to my parking spot about 100' away at the front of the garage. They ran the wiring on the outside of the building and then drilled a small hole through the concrete to reach my parking spot inside.

Other owners in the building are claiming that I abused my power as the president of the HOA by not getting approval to install the charger, and saying that I've caused damage to the building (one little hole in the concrete).

The tenants called an emergency meeting tonight to oust me as the president, force me to remove the charger, and repair the building. It cost me $1,800 to install the charger, who knows how much more it would cost to remove it - not to mention the inconvenience of not being able to charge at home.

I realize I was in the wrong for proceeding with an install/modification to the building without full approval, but understand that there are some laws in place to protect people who want to install an EV charger despite whatever bylaws exist for the HOA/condo association.

Anyone with experience in this arena willing to chime in on what the best way for me to proceed would be?
 

TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,173
2,911
Los Angeles
Move. HOAs are poison to the soul.

I agree about HOAs, unfortunately, it's a little different in a condo - I don't think I have ever seen a Condo without a Condo board (And they are 100× better then Co-Op boards in NY).

@Andre Mercier - did you bring up installing the charger during a board meeting? If so, is it in the minutes? That will help your case. (Having requested a vote would be better, but hindsight is always 20/20).

Also, is the power coming from your panel or is the Condo's electricity? If it is the building common electricity, you should determine a way for you to be responsible for the electrical use for charging.
 

Xenoilphobe

Active Member
Jan 2, 2014
4,587
4,319
Fairfax County, Virginia
OMG! You are awful... You mean you installed charging at your own parking spot in a Condo you own!

F'em, resign and let some other HOA stiff try and remove it, the law is on your side.

Bunch of idiots, do they realize the value of your property just went up. If I lived there I would have to get a rust bucket wrap, just to screw with em. Add some police crime scene tape to your front door and this should help with resell value too.

Rust_Bucket_Cherokee_slider.jpg



 

Andre Mercier

Member
Mar 16, 2016
30
301
Los Angeles, CA
I agree about HOAs, unfortunately, it's a little different in a condo - I don't think I have ever seen a Condo without a Condo board (And they are 100× better then Co-Op boards in NY).

@Andre Mercier - did you bring up installing the charger during a board meeting? If so, is it in the minutes? That will help your case. (Having requested a vote would be better, but hindsight is always 20/20).

Also, is the power coming from your panel or is the Condo's electricity? If it is the building common electricity, you should determine a way for you to be responsible for the electrical use for charging.
It's coming from my personal meter.
 

Andre Mercier

Member
Mar 16, 2016
30
301
Los Angeles, CA
HOA’s are funny things. A lot of smoke, not much fire.
There is no way they can make you remove it if it is from your panel.
What is there precise concern, besides approval.
According to the CC&R's of my HOA, you have to have a written approval for any modifications to the building and it needs to be agreed upon by a majority of tenants.
 

ArizonaP85

Member
Apr 6, 2017
269
428
Phoenix
Andre,

You need to read Lloyd's post and talk with an attorney. The point of it seems to be that your HOA cannot deny you permission to do what you did, no matter what the CC&Rs say because they've been overruled by the statute.

Just because your CC&Rs say something doesn't make it so. For example, back East, some properties still have deed restrictions that say they cannot be sold to people of various ethnic or racial groups - but thankfully those aren't worth the paper they're printed on because they've been overruled by statutes or judicial decisions.

Likewise, state legislatures don't often go back and repeal statutes declared unconstitutional by the courts - you can't always believe the first thing you read (which seems to be your neighbors' problem); you have to research.

Speak with a competent attorney, doesn't look like you'll be sorry.
 

Graffi

Member
Apr 30, 2017
713
711
San Diego, CA
According to the CC&R's of my HOA, you have to have a written approval for any modifications to the building and it needs to be agreed upon by a majority of tenants.

Not for EV Charging Stations in California. They (the HOA) are required by law to allow you to have it installed at your expense and can not prohibit you from doing it as long as you follow the law.

Please use the link above to get the exact wording of the law and present it to the "Emergency" Board meeting. It is my humble opinion that you have fulfilled your obligation to the HOA by letting the Board know in the previous board meeting (as long as it is included in the Board Minutes or recording of the meeting).

Any action the HOA, or any Board member, takes to have your EV Charging Station removed would be in violation of California law, and you should advise them of this, along with providing them with a copy of the law, or even a reference with summary.

I recommend that you find out which Board member is behind this (I doubt more than one - the others are just following) and try to educate that person, in a nice way. You are only exercising your rights under California Law. You did not have to get permission, only let them know that you are exercising your rights.

Additionally, any action other owners take to remove, hamper, or destroy your installation would be a criminal act. Might not be a bad idea to install a wireless camera in such a way to capture anyone entering your parking spot or approaching your EV Charging Station (EVSE).
 
Last edited:

Andre Mercier

Member
Mar 16, 2016
30
301
Los Angeles, CA
Not for EV Charging Stations in California. They (the HOA) are required by law to allow you to have it installed at your expense and can not prohibit you from doing it as long as you follow the law.

Please use the link above to get the exact wording of the law and present it to the "Emergency" Board meeting. It is my humble opinion that you have fulfilled your obligation to the HOA by letting the Board know in the previous board meeting (as long as it is included in the Board Minutes or recording of the meeting).

Any action the HOA, or any Board member, takes to have your EV Charging Station removed would be in violation of California law, and you should advise them of this, along with providing them with a copy of the law, or even a reference with summary.

I recommend that you find out which Board member is behind this (I doubt more than one - the others are just following) and try to educate that person, in a nice way. You are only exercising your rights under California Law. You did not have to get permission, only let them know that you are exercising your rights.
Oh I know exactly who it is - he's had it out for me ever since I took on the role of president. He's beyond reason and will find anything and everything to bitch and whine about but refuses to take any responsibility for any aspect of our building. There's always a turd in the punch bowl.
 

Andre Mercier

Member
Mar 16, 2016
30
301
Los Angeles, CA
Probably, which I'm fine with, I've been doing it for 2+ years and it's a time consuming and thankless job. I'm more concerned about the fact that some of the tenants have already told me that they have all the proof they need in our CC&R's to legally remove the charger, that's what concerns me.
 
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Lloyd

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2011
6,323
2,125
San Luis Obispo, CA
Andre,

You need to read Lloyd's post and talk with an attorney. The point of it seems to be that your HOA cannot deny you permission to do what you did, no matter what the CC&Rs say because they've been overruled by the statute.

Just because your CC&Rs say something doesn't make it so. For example, back East, some properties still have deed restrictions that say they cannot be sold to people of various ethnic or racial groups - but thankfully those aren't worth the paper they're printed on because they've been overruled by statutes or judicial decisions.

Likewise, state legislatures don't often go back and repeal statutes declared unconstitutional by the courts - you can't always believe the first thing you read (which seems to be your neighbors' problem); you have to research.

Speak with a competent attorney, doesn't look like you'll be sorry.

I would politely point to the CA law protecting you and your right to install a charging system. Then make them sue you. I think it will go away!
 

Graffi

Member
Apr 30, 2017
713
711
San Diego, CA
... I'm more concerned about the fact that some of the tenants have already told me that they have all the proof they need in our CC&R's to legally remove the charger, that's what concerns me.

See the edited part at the bottom of my previous post. It is these one who spoke to you that should worry. They can be arrested and go to jail, and worse, pay all damages, if they even touch or damage your installation.
 

Andre Mercier

Member
Mar 16, 2016
30
301
Los Angeles, CA
See the edited part at the bottom of my previous post. It is these one who spoke to you that should worry. They can be arrested and go to jail, and worse, pay all damages, if they even touch or damage your installation.
Maybe I should rephrase - I said they have what they need to legally remove my charger, but what I meant to say is that they have what they need legally (apparently) to make me remove the charger and pay to have the wiring removed from the building. They never threatened to physically remove the charger from my space.
 
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TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,173
2,911
Los Angeles
Maybe I should rephrase - I said they have what they need to legally remove my charger, but what I meant to say is that they have what they need legally (apparently) to make me remove the charger and pay to have the wiring removed from the building. They never threatened to physically remove the charger from my space.

Making you remove the charger vs the HOA removing the charger is just semantics. The law applies in either case but you should discuss with an attorney.
 
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