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Homeowner frustrated with HOA's 'unreasonable' battery rule: 'Storage should not be restricted like that'

"I feel like this is a rule that could be argued against in court…"

Homeowner frustrated with HOA’s ‘unreasonable’ battery rule

Photo Credit: iStock

In July, an HOA resident on Reddit posted about their condo's frustrating ban on lithium batteries and chargers.

Lithium-ion batteries, also known simply as lithium batteries, are the most common type of power storage for electric vehicles like cars, e-bikes, and scooters. Negative press about the risk of lithium battery fires has led to bans in some HOAs and condos.

This Redditor said that their HOA is now among those banning EV batteries.

"HOA enacted rules against anything with a lithium battery," they said, calling the move "insane."

The Redditor shared the specific wording of their condo's new rule. 

"'All electric bikes, scooters, etc. with lithium batteries and chargers may not be stored on decks or inside condos,'" they said. "'Batteries and chargers must be kept away from the building and charged away from the buildings at all times.'" 

Rulebreakers were threatened with a penalty of "no less than $5,000."

The Redditor found this new rule completely unreasonable. 

"Our condos were built with wood-burning fireplaces, and they choose to die on this hill?" they demanded. "What if someone has a disability and uses an electric scooter to get around?"

The Redditor has a point. According to a recent Swedish study, though EV fires have been in the news recently, they're statistically less likely than gas car fires, even after accounting for the different numbers of each type of vehicle.

Furthermore, when lithium battery fires do happen, they're most often caused by batteries that have been modified or incorrectly repaired — an issue that can be avoided by following basic safety rules.

In fact, sometimes the battery was never the problem at all, like in one shocking case in which what was thought to be a battery fire actually turned out to be arson.

Commenters agreed with the original poster that the condo's rules were excessive. 

One user pointed out that storage should not be restricted like that because "fires mostly seem to occur while charging … requiring outdoor charging is reasonable."

Another Redditor highlighted the ridiculous breadth of the rule. "So… your cell phone? Laptop? You're not allowed to charge them inside?"

"I feel like this is a rule that could be argued against in court for being too broad," the original poster agreed.

Home and condo owners dealing with similar unreasonable restrictions might be able to change them using this basic guide to changing HOA rules.

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