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Right-to-Charge laws in New York?

LongIslandEVs

Member
Nov 7, 2020
20
21
Port Jefferson Station, NY
Really hoping someone can offer some advice as I am at a roadblock. Was recommended to post here after attending yesterday's EV101 event from TOCNYS. Apologies if this isn't the right forum.

Short Version: I live in a condo community and the board is refusing to consider any form of charging installation (public or individual). My community is all shared parking in common area, no assigned parking spaces.

I proposed two solutions:
1. A single charging station for me in a parking space that would be assigned to me. I would pay for all the installation costs. <not my preferred option as I would not be able to recoup those costs when I move in the future.
2. A bank of shared/public stations central in the community which could be accessed by anyone and everyone who lives in the community. Installation costs are lower overall due to only needing one construction job. The community would also qualify for many thousands of dollars in rebates from the state. <this is my preferred option

Long Version/Timeline:

August 2017 - Moved into my condo

June 2019 - Purchased my Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle.

July 2019 - Started delivering flyers around the neighborhood directing them to a survey to gauge interest in charging stations.

July 20th, 2019 - Received first positive feedback from a neighbor interested in the charging station.

Dec. 6th, 2019 - NYS Passes Right-to-Charge law. Electric vehicle charging station installation

January 2020 - Delivered packet of documentation, including a 10page proposal I wrote to Condo office manager in person. This included extensive resources about the community benefits, rebates, projected growth of EVs, even a guide on best practices on installation.

July 20th, 2020 - first in-person meeting with the board. Informed about NYS right-to-charge law and provided copies of my proposal. Discussed discounts and rebates.

July 24th, 2020 - Received a 50page Feasibility Study from The Mobility House. Sent to board of managers for review.

July 27th, 2020 - Office Manager Confirmed receipt, stated that it would be looked into.

Sept. 2nd, 2020 - Spoke to Board President directly. Invited to a Chargepoint webinar on charging best practices in condo developments.

Sept 11th 2020 - Received 10th response to survey.

Sept. 16th, 2020 - Board President was unable to attend Webinar. I provided feedback I have received from neighborhood survey showing majority positive interest in the project. After discussing with President, She asked to review the documentation herself. I resent my proposal documentation in an email. Office Manager stated Treasurer needed to review.

Sept. 17th, 2020 - I sent President the seminar recording.

Sept. 21st, 2020 - I asked President if she had the opportunity to review the Webinar. Also asked for an opportunity to meet with the board in person to move the project along.

Sept. 22nd, 2020 - President stated she viewed the recording. Office Manager printed documentation and Treasurer took home to review. Would “need to be discussed with BOM and possible attorney”.

October 6th, 2020 - I responded again thanking for consideration of the project and offered my guidance with an in-person or video call to discuss further or answer any questions. Margarita stated she was reading the study. Would discuss with Treasurer and BOM.

October 28th, 2020 - I met with a company called ChargedFuture to discuss roadblocks and plans for community. Consultant is preparing a proposal for the community and will send in a few days. Would like to meet with community board in a roundtable discussion to answer questions.

October 29th, 2020 - Office Manager sent an email stating “With reference to the charging station, the Board wants you to know that they are in the process of looking into it.” I replied thanking and informing them about “Charged Future”.

October 30th, 2020 - Received Cease and Desist Letter from Condo Board Lawyer. Stating that I am not authorized to represent the community and they would not be going forward with the charging stations.

----------------

I'm now at the point where I feel like I am going to need a lawyer. I have a copy of the Feasibility Study I can send privately if anyone is interested in reading, though I'd prefer not attach to this post as it contains personal information.

I believe the key here is to find an EV-friendly lawyer that can help me interpret the new charging law. Does it only apply to assigned parking or would it also apply to shared parking lots?
 

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Hebert

MXLR, RN1153, 7/20, Blue/Black/5/20", EDD Jan
Apr 28, 2019
148
135
Peoria, AZ
Sorry to hear this has been such an ongoing struggle. Not being a lawyer, the way I read the NY law if it provides that condo owners have the right to install a charging station for individual use. The Condo associate has no obligation to pay for the charging station or for electricity, that cost must be paid for by the individual or set of owners who would use the station.

I would think you could talk to the board's lawyer on the phone is reach agreement on these points pretty easily. If the lawyer is difficult in any way, you could engage a lawyer to make a phone call or write a letter which should resolve this matter.
 

esantosnyc

Member
May 31, 2021
27
21
Westchester County, NY
Yes, there is a law.

Just some highlights:
1) You must be willing to pay installation AND maintenance costs
2) Must hire a licensed electrician
3) Must have liability insurance
4) Must reimburse Condo for any damages incurred during installation of charger
5) Must repair charger if it becomes damaged

"(I) AN ASSOCIATION THAT WILLFULLY VIOLATES THIS SECTION SHALL BE
LIABLE TO THE APPLICANT OR OTHER PARTY FOR ACTUAL DAMAGES, AND SHALL PAY
A CIVIL PENALTY TO THE APPLICANT OR OTHER PARTY IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO
EXCEED ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
(J) IN ANY ACTION BY A UNIT OWNER REQUESTING TO HAVE AN ELECTRIC VEHI-
CLE CHARGING STATION INSTALLED AND SEEKING TO ENFORCE COMPLIANCE WITH
THIS SECTION, THE PREVAILING PLAINTIFF SHALL BE AWARDED REASONABLE
ATTORNEY'S FEES."

See language below.

Provides that no covenant, restriction, or condition contained in any deed, contract, security instrument, or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of any interest in a condominium and any by-laws that prohibits or unreasonably restricts the installation or use of an electric vehicle charging station is void.
 
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LongIslandEVs

Member
Nov 7, 2020
20
21
Port Jefferson Station, NY
Just some highlights:
1) You must be willing to pay installation AND maintenance costs
2) Must hire a licensed electrician
3) Must have liability insurance
4) Must reimburse Condo for any damages incurred during installation of charger
5) Must repair charger if it becomes damaged

Right, I'm interested in this paragraph.

> (f) Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this subdivision, installation of an electric vehicle charging station for the exclusive use of an owner in a common element, that is not an exclusive use common element, shall be authorized by the association only if installation in the owner's designated parking space is impossible or unreasonably expensive.

In my case, nobody has an assigned parking space. Even if I was given one, my unit is 250ft from the parking area and construction costs would easily reach 5 figures.

Following this, is the next paragraph.

> (g) The association or owners may install an electric vehicle charging station in the common elements for the use of all members of the association and, in that case, the association shall develop appropriate terms of use for the charging station.

This is what would make the most sense for the community. Given the impressive rebates that NYS Offers to multi-family communities.
 

Hebert

MXLR, RN1153, 7/20, Blue/Black/5/20", EDD Jan
Apr 28, 2019
148
135
Peoria, AZ
It's too bad your Condo Board does not see the value in adding charging as an amenity. It would add value to the building for little impact to their budget. They must feel strongly about it to use a lawyer to communicate they are not interested.

If you decide to go forward alone, maybe it would add value to your unit? I'm not sure how the real estate market prices the ability to charge.
 

esantosnyc

Member
May 31, 2021
27
21
Westchester County, NY
It's too bad your Condo Board does not see the value in adding charging as an amenity. It would add value to the building for little impact to their budget. They must feel strongly about it to use a lawyer to communicate they are not interested.

If you decide to go forward alone, maybe it would add value to your unit? I'm not sure how the real estate market prices the ability to charge.
I seriously question whether they actually consulted an attorney to begin with. You would think that an attorney who specializes in working with condo associations would be familiar with this EV law.
 
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LongIslandEVs

Member
Nov 7, 2020
20
21
Port Jefferson Station, NY
If you decide to go forward alone, maybe it would add value to your unit? I'm not sure how the real estate market prices the ability to charge.

Difficult, if not impossible.

1. My unit is 250ft from the parking lot.
2. We have no assigned parking and I wouldn't be able to guarantee a space with a hypothetical charger would be available to me.
3. When/if I moved away, I would have no way of recouping the costs involved with installation.
4. Each unit only has 125A Zinsco circuit panel not upgraded since the late 70's. 4 Outdated and Unsafe Electrical Panels That Could be Hiding in Your Home – Energy Today Electricians
 

LongIslandEVs

Member
Nov 7, 2020
20
21
Port Jefferson Station, NY
I seriously question whether they actually consulted an attorney to begin with. You would think that an attorney who specializes in working with condo associations would be familiar with this EV law.
Something really ironic? I got in touch with an individual who lives in another community ~20min from me who is installing chargers at his co-op. He found me because he recognized the lawyers signature in the picture of the letter I shared. His community has the same lawyer as mine does.

The board at his community (and I assume the lawyer) approved charging at his community and not my own. Only other thing in his favor is that he was on the board, I am not.

This whole thing is stupid.
 

Galve2000

Active Member
May 20, 2013
1,036
300
NYC
You should reach out to the lawyer and ask him why the charger was approved by the other HOA but not this one. if he won't talk to you, hire a lawyer to talk to him.
 

LongIslandEVs

Member
Nov 7, 2020
20
21
Port Jefferson Station, NY
You should reach out to the lawyer and ask him why the charger was approved by the other HOA but not this one. if he won't talk to you, hire a lawyer to talk to him.

Hmm... as I'm writing an email to the lawyer, I'm wondering if this is a breach of privacy.

1. The lawyer might deduce where I learned the information from. Don't want to out my contact there.
2. The individual I spoke to did not share the name of his community. Only that he recognized the signature on a screenshot of the letter.

I do think that speaking to a lawyer is my best option right now. Just need to find one that is familiar with RPP 339-LL and Condo law. Being friendly to EV's and sustainability would be a plus.
 

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