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Feldsott Lee Pagano & Canfield
Orange County Homeowners Association Law Firm

Environmentally conscious HOA members and their electric cars

Many California residents are environmentally conscious. This may mean using green materials in their homes, advocating for environmental changes and perhaps even owning an electric car. Owning a single family residence in a community with a homeowners' association could make having one of these vehicles easier since they can make the appropriate arrangements to charge it, even as HOA members in a community.

What happens to those who live in condominiums or other communities with a shared parking lot? Some buildings already have electric car charging stations, but that might not mean that anyone can simply use it. Many of these types of living arrangements involve being a member of an HOA. More than likely, the board controls the use of the charging stations since they are in a common area.

Even though California is a "right to charge" state, the owner of an electric car may still need to go through the HOA first. The board may be the one paying for the electricity, but if a car owner fails to consult with the HOA first, it may be a violation of the HOA rules and CC&Rs. In order to avoid any issues with the board, it may help to fully understand a community member's rights and responsibilities.

HOA members who need to resolve this sort of issue may benefit from having an attorney review the relevant documentation. It may also be useful to discuss the matter with the HOA, especially if an existing charging station is not already on the property, but one could be installed. If possible, this may need to be done prior to purchasing an electric car in order to avoid ending up in a position where the car cannot be readily charged.

Source:, "How electric-car owners in condos can get their HOAs to OK charging stations", Mark Stevenson, Dec. 21, 2017

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