Condominium Apartment and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
An apartment owner in a condominium recently filed a lawsuit against another apartment owner who installed infrastructure for an electric vehicle charging station. The Tel Aviv Land Registry’s Supervisor dismissed the lawsuit, based, inter alia, on the draft bill submitted to the Knesset in 2022. The Supervisor’s ruling seeks to regulate the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in condominium parking spaces, while striking a proper balance between apartment owners’ rights in the common property and individual apartment owners’ need to use the common property to install infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations.
The Plaintiff’s Claims
The plaintiff claimed the infrastructure work carried out by the other apartment owner included “the installation of steel conduits, excavations, the drilling of holes, and extensive destruction of the common property.” The plaintiff further claimed the defendant carried out the works without prior notice, without permission or approval from the other apartment owners in the condominium, and while posing hazards to visitors. In addition, the plaintiff claimed that the works were tantamount to alteration of and damage to the common property and that the defendant made private use of the common property, which requires the consent of all the apartment owners.
The Defendant’s Rebuttals
In his defense, the defendant argued that he merely installed an electrical cable in the common property, from the parking space attached to his apartment to his apartment. The defendant stated that he installed the cable in a safe, aesthetic, and minimalistic manner using the “concealed installation” method, in conformity with the instructions of a licensed installer of electric vehicle charging stations.
The defendant further stated that he carried out the work in compliance with the law and with the Electricity Authority’s guidelines, considering that, in this era of environmental responsibility, which advocates the transition to electric vehicles and the reduction of air pollution, this is considered normal and reasonable use of the common property. The defendant further stated that a licensed electrician had inspected the installation and certified that the work and the charging station were up to code. Finally, the defendant countered that he had received the condominium representative’s approval in advance, as well as all of the other apartment owners’ consents to the installation.
After personally inspecting the situation at the condominium in the presence of the parties, the Supervisor dismissed the claim. According to this latest ruling, every apartment owner in a condominium is entitled to make normal and reasonable use of the common property, without having to obtain the consent of all other apartment owners in the building. “Normal and reasonable use of common property” is any use that fulfills the apartment owners’ legitimate needs, that is consistent with the property’s intended purpose, and that allows tenants to maintain their normal lives in the condominium in an appropriate and acceptable manner.
The Supervisor also referred to Amendment No. 36 to the draft bill on the subject of the installation of electric vehicle charging stations in condominium parking spaces, submitted to the Knesset. The draft bill’s objective is to regulate installations of electric vehicle charging stations in condominium parking spaces, while striving to strike a balance between apartment owners’ rights in the shared property and the desire to remove obstacles to installing charging stations.
Attached Parking Spaces
The arrangement proposed in the draft bill distinguishes between installations of electric vehicle charging stations in parking spaces attached to specific apartments in a condominium (private parking spaces) and installations of charging stations in a car park that is part of the common property (shared parking spaces). This arrangement serves as the default, as long as the agreed condominium regulations define no special arrangements.
With regard to the installation of an electric vehicle charging station in a parking space attached to an apartment in a condominium (private parking space), connected directly to the apartment’s power supply, the draft bill proposes to allow apartment owners to do so, including installing the infrastructure needed for the charging station in the shared property, without requiring the consent of all other apartment owners in the condominium. This is provided, however, that the apartment owner issues prior written notice to the condominium representative and to all of the other apartment owners of his intent to install such an electric vehicle charging station.
The Gist of the Supervisor’s Ruling
Based on the arrangement prescribed in the aforesaid draft bill, at the conclusion of the hearing, the Supervisor ruled that an apartment owner does not have to obtain the consent of all other apartment owners in a condominium to install an electric vehicle charging station in a parking space attached to his apartment, provided the charging station is connected to that apartment’s power supply. However, the installation must comply with conditions, including safety conditions, to ensure performance of the installation according to code, and without the installation preventing similar use by other apartment owners in the condominium.
Adv. Maya Zisser is a partner in the firm’s Commercial Real Estate Department.