Is your condo ready for Electric Vehicles?
In Canada, many citizens are taking environmental conscientiousness more seriously all the time. To conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions, people have steadily begun purchasing electric vehicles. Similarly, the Canadian government and various bodies like the Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) have offered support to facilitate such personal environmental stewardship.
Maybe it's time for your condominium community to explore EVCS installation options. If so, please take some time to explore the CAO step-by-step guide.
Step-by-Step Guide: Installing an Electric Vehicle Charging System In Your Condominium Community
This guide offers detailed instructions for condominium owners and boards of directors to follow when installing an EVCS that might require a change to the condominium corporation's common elements.
May 1, 2018, changes to Ontario Regulation 48/01 under theCondominium Act, 1998(“the Act”) provided condominium associations with new provisions for obtaining approval to install EVCSs near condominium buildings to protect the integrity of the property and the security of the residents. The acts also provided a process that allows an owner to request and obtain approval to install an EVCS.
Installation by the Corporation
If a condominium corporation wants to install an EVCS, they may or may not do so without an owners' vote. Please note that if the corporation conducts the EVCS installation, all costs become common expenses, making all owners responsible for the EVCS's installation and ongoing maintenance. Such costs will be based on the usual determination of common expenses.
Condominium corporations that follow the processes described below are exempt from section 97 of the Act.
Step 1: Assessing the Cost of the Installation
The first step the board must take is to assess the corporation's costs for the EVCS installation.
Step 2: Determine whether Owners Can Vote
Next, the board must determine whether it can proceed with the EVCS installation without an owners' vote or if it must allow a vote. The board may only allow EVCS installation without an owners' vote under two conditions:
- The estimated cost to the corporation is no more than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses for the current fiscal year, and
- The board believes the condominium corporation owners would not feel the EVCS installation causes a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment as residents.
If the proposed installation meets both conditions, the corporation can follow the process described under Option 1: No Vote by Owners below.
If the estimated cost to the corporation is greater than 10% of the annual budgeted common expenses for the current fiscal year, or the board believes the owners would feel the EVCS inhibits their enjoyment as residents, the corporation must follow the process described under Option 2: Possible
Owner Vote below.
Option 1: No Vote by Owners
Step 3 (Option 1): Send Notice to Owners
If the condominium corporation plans to proceed with installation without an owners' vote, the corporation must then send a notice to all owners containing:
- A description of the proposed installation,
- A statement that the board believes that the owners of the condominium corporation would not consider the installation of the EVCS to be a material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of the units that they own or the common elements,
- A statement of the estimated costs and how the corporation will pay for the costs,
- Any other information that the by-laws of the corporation require.
Step 4 (Option 1): Proceed with Installation
After at least 60 days have passed since the corporation sent the notice to the owners, the corporation can proceed with the installation.
Option 2: Possible Owners’ Vote
Step 3 (Option 2): Send Notice to Owners
When the owners need to vote, based on the criteria described in Step 2, the corporation must then send a notice to all owners containing:
- A description of the proposed installation,
- A statement of the estimated costs how the corporation will pay for the costs,
- A statement that the board believes the owners would regard the installation as causing a material reduction or elimination of the use or enjoyment of the units that they own or the common elements,
- A statement that the owners have a right, per section 46 of the Act, to requisition a meeting within 60 days of receiving the notice,
- A copy of the text of section 46 of the Act, and section 24.2 and 24.3 of Ontario Regulation 48/01, and
- Any other information that the by-laws of the corporation require.
Step 4 (Option 2): Determine next Steps
- Upon receipt of the notice, the owners can requisition a meeting within 60 days to vote.
- After 60 days have passed since the notice was sent, the corporation can proceed with the installation of the EVCS if the owners have:
- Not requisitioned a meeting within the required time,
- Requisitioned a meeting but quorum was not present, or
- Requisitioned a meeting where a quorum was present, and the owners did not vote against the installation.
Installation by an Owner
- Ontario Regulation 48/01 describes the process that an owner must follow to apply to their condominium corporation for an installation.
Owners that follow the processes described below are exempt from section 98 of the Act, describing the process necessary for an owner to follow to make other changes to the common elements.
Step 1: Creating the Application
If an owner wishes to apply to their condominium corporation for an EVCS installation, they must first prepare an application that must:
- Be in writing,
- Identify the owner and the owner’s address for installation,
- Be signed by the owner submitting the application and Include drawings, specifications, or information relating to the proposed installation.
- If the owner requires information, permission, or authorization from the condominium corporation to provide the required drawings, specifications, or information relating to the proposed installation, they should request the information, permission, or authorization from the condominium corporation in writing. The corporation must then provide this information as soon as reasonably possible.
- If the owner has difficulty receiving the required records, they should make a formal request.
Step 2: Submitting the Application
After the owner has created their application, they must then send it to their condominium corporation in one of these ways:
- For paper applications, sent by mail, courier, or deposited in the mailbox:
- At the address for service for the corporation, the property manager, the property management provider, or any other person responsible for the management of the property; or,
- At an address that the board has decided is the address for receiving applications for the installation of an EVCS.
- For electronic applications, sent by fax, email, or any other method of electronic communication, if the board has decided that this method of delivery is acceptable); or
- Sent in any format or manner that the corporation and the owner agree to in writing.
Step 3: Response from the Board of Directors
Once a condominium corporation receives an owner application, the board must determine that the application is complete and meets the requirements listed in Steps 1 and 2 above.
- If the application meets the requirements listed in Steps 1 and 2 above, the board must respond to the owner in writing, indicating whether the board has accepted or rejected the application within 60 days or another agreed-upon timeframe.
- If the application does not meet the requirements listed in Steps 1 and 2 above, the board must notify the owner in writing as soon as possible, describing why the application does not meet the requirements.
- MyCondoLink is working on software to make it easier for boards to explain reasons an application does not meet requirements.
What if the Board Accepts an Application?
The board must include a statement noting that the proposed installation is acceptable in the proposed manner and location.
What if the Board Rejects an Application?
The board can only reject an application if it has obtained a report that clearly states that the proposed installation:
- Will be contrary to any general or special Act, including the Electrical Safety Code;
- Will negatively impact the structural integrity of the property of the corporation; or,
- Will pose a serious health and safety risk to residents or the corporation.
The board must include a copy of the report upon rejection.
What if the Board Accepts an Application but requires that the installation be carried out in an alternative manner or location?
If the board requires that the proposed installation be carried out in an alternative manner or location, acceptable reasons include:
- The corporation owners would not consider the EVCS installation as a cause of material reduction or elimination of their use or enjoyment of their units or the common elements;
- The EVCS installation would not contradict anything in the corporation’s declaration, by-laws, or rules; and/or,
- The installation is not contrary to any provisions in any agreement to which the corporation is a party.
The condominium corporation can propose an alternative manner or location if it does not cause the owner to incur unreasonable costs.
If the board decides that the EVCS installation must be carried out in an alternative manner or location, the response to the owner must include a statement of that fact, including:
- A statement that the proposed installation must be carried out in an alternative manner or location;
- The reasons why it is necessary for the alternative manner or location of installation; and,
- The drawings, specifications, and information clarifying how the installation will take place.
What if the Board does not Respond?
If the board does not respond to the owner within the 60 days or another agreed-upon timeframe, the board is considered to have neither rejected nor required that the installation be carried out in an alternative manner or location.
If you have applied and the corporation has not responded in 60 days, you might contact your condominium corporation. In that case, you might consider pursuing mediation or arbitration.
Step 4: The Agreement for EVCS Installation
If the board accepts an EVCS installation request, the condominium corporation and owner must enter into an agreement within 90 days.
The agreement must be in writing, and its terms and conditions must be reasonable and necessary to facilitate the EVCS's installation, use, and operation:
- Describe and relate to the manner of the installation;
- Outline EVCS installation cost, distributed between the owner and the corporation;
- Outline the responsibilities of the corporation and owner regarding the cost of use, operation, repair, maintenance, insurance, and the cost to prepare the agreement;
- Specify who will have ownership of the EVCS and its components and,
- Discuss any termination of use of the EVCS or the agreement.
After the owner and the corporation enter into an agreement, the condominium corporation must register the agreement against the title to the owner’s unit as soon as reasonably possible. The agreement will only take effect when registered against the owner’s unit. Once registered, the agreement binds the owner’s unit and is enforceable against any unit's future owners.
Who Pays for the Installation?
Unless otherwise agreed upon, the owner must pay for the EVCS installation, whether the owner or the condominium corporation carries out the installation.
Disagreements: Mediation and Arbitration
Any disagreement between an owner and a condominium corporation related to the EVCS installation must be submitted to private mediation and arbitration within:
- 6 months of receiving the board’s response to an application, if related to the rejection, or
- 6 months after the conclusion of the 90-day elapsed period if the corporation and owner have not entered into an EVCS installation agreement.
If you have not received a response to your EVCS installation application, there is no deadline for submitting your dispute to mediation and arbitration.
To read more about the requirements and timelines for installing an EVCS, please review sections 24.1 to 24.7 of Ontario Regulation 48/01.
Find a Simpler Way to Add Value to Your Condominium Community
At MyConoLink, we understand how important a step-by-step guide like the one above is to community needs in your condominium community. We can help simplify communication and facilitate the process of installing an EVCS in your community without missing a step. Contact us to learn more about our integral solution made for you.