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Tenant calls out landlord over allegedly illegal move to block their car charger: 'Are they straight-up breaking the law?'

"There's been excuse after excuse."

Right to charge their EV charger

Photo Credit: iStock

One Redditor claimed they've been waiting two-and-a-half years for their landlord to comply with California's "right to charge" law for electric vehicles (EVs).

EVs have become more popular in recent years as they've gotten cheaper and battery technology has improved. This has led to a need for more charging stations, especially at home. 

Homeowners can simply install a charging station, but renters sometimes face an uphill battle when trying to convince their landlords to add this amenity.

Luckily, California's Civil Code gives renters the right to install their own charging stations even at apartment complexes and rented houses. However, it seems this Redditor's landlord may be trying to get out of complying.

"When I moved into my apartment complex 2.5 years ago, I did so under the condition that my landlord install an EV charger for my 2020 Subaru Crosstrek plug-in hybrid," the original poster said. However, even after this time, no charger has appeared.

"There's been excuse after excuse," the user said, claiming their landlord even blamed EV chargers for an "epidemic" of downed power lines.

When the original poster used an ordinary outlet to slowly charge their vehicle, they said they returned from a vacation to find a metal plate covering the outlet.

That was the last straw for this user. They went online to research their rights and found California Civil Code section 1947.6. This law requires landlords to allow renters to install EV chargers at their own expense as long as the renter makes a written request.

"[I] am absolutely incensed!" the original poster said. "Is there some formality that I have been missing or are they straight-up breaking the law?"

The original poster went on to say they would be submitting one more formal written request and asked for advice to make sure their letter meets all the conditions required by law.

Some commenters cautioned against upsetting the landlord. 

One user said, "It's clear they don't want to do it, and if you fight each other on this you'll just make each other miserable and probably still won't get charging even if the law is on your side."

The original poster replied, "Well that's the thing — they don't need to do anything. The whole point of the civil code is that renters take the responsibility, work, and cost upon themselves."

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