February 8, 2021

Get Plugged-In On Car Charging in NJ Community Associations – Legislature Goes Green!

What happened?

In October 2020, Governor Murphy signed a law permitting the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in common interest communities. The law prohibits associations from unreasonably restricting the installation of an electric vehicle charging station in a designated parking space and declares any such restriction void and unenforceable. Rather, associations may only impose “reasonable restrictions” on the installation and use of charging stations, provided that same (a) do not significantly increase the cost of the charging station, or (b) decrease the efficiency or specified performance of the charging station.

Why you need to know about this?

  1. An association must grant exclusive or limited use of any portion of a common element to a unit owner to install and use a charging station (a) in a unit owner’s designated parking space; or (b) through a license for exclusive use of a parking space.
  2. If association approval is required for the installation or use of a charging station, the application must be processed in the same manner as an application for approval of an architectural modification to the property and must not be “willfully avoided or delayed.” If a denial is not issued within 60 days from receipt of the application, then the application is automatically deemed approved.
  3. An association must approve the installation of a charging station provided (a) the station complies with law and the association’s architectural standards; (b) the unit owner engages an electrician to install all necessary electric lines and infrastructure; (c) the unit owner timely obtains sufficient insurance protecting the association and other unit owners from damage caused by the charging station; (d) the unit owner pays for electricity usage associated with the charging station; and (e) the unit owner pays for reasonable charges imposed by an association to recover the costs of review of the application.
  4. An application may be denied if an association concludes the charging station is a life-safety risk.
  5. The unit owner is responsible for all costs and expenses of the charging station. Any money owed to the association shall be deemed special assessments collectible pursuant to law and the governing documents.
  6. Unit owners must disclose to prospective buyers the existence of the unit owner’s charging station and the associated responsibilities.

What should you do now?

An association may install charging stations in common element parking spaces and adopt rules and regulations for the use of same, or create a new parking space to facilitate the installation of a charging station.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact David R. Dahan at 856.355.2991 or by email at dahan@hylandlevin.com or William F. Hanna at 856.355.2937 or by email at hanna@hylandlevin.com.