A cooperative shareholder Woodside, Queens, faces a dilemma. He only has access to a dedicated garage, and he wants to buy a Electric car. However, the co-op’s board of directors will not give him permission to install a electric car chargeralthough With Edison agreed to connect the charger to the network. Can a condominium or cooperative board refuse such a request?
The answers are, respectively, no and yes, says the Ask Real Estate column in The New York Times. Due to changes in state property laws in 2019, a condominium council may not impose unreasonable restrictions on the installation or use of charging stations on an owner’s property or assigned space. Cooperative advicehowever, are not subject to the rule, and most cooperative buildings were obviously not designed for electric vehicles.
“You’re dealing with buildings that could be from 1910 – they were using horses when this building was built,” says Mitchell Karasicdirector of business development at En-Power Groupa mechanical engineering firm that is setting up around 2,000 charging stations in 200 residential and commercial buildings in the city. “The infrastructure upgrades that are needed can often be significant.”
But older buildings can – and are – installing charging stations. Karasik says he’s noticed a surge in interest in the buildings over the past year. This Woodside Co-op shareholder won’t be able to force his board of directors to do so, but he could persuade it to think differently. Charging stations could increase property values. Any buyer who already owns or wants an electric vehicle will not want to buy an apartment in your co-op. The key is to get the co-op’s board to view charging stations as an investment, not an expense.
Because electric cars are coming. In September, New York State passed a law banning the sale of combustion engines for cars and light trucks by 2035. Co-op and condo boards need to prepare for the inevitable changes to come – paving the way for the installation of charging stations.
“I know 2035 is a long way off, but the state is going electric,” says Leni Morrison Cumminsmember of law firm Cozen O’Connor. “It happens, it’s just a matter of when.”