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Renter grows suspicious of landlord after discovering shady parking lot fee: 'They're making a good profit'

"I'd make sure it all sounds legal."

Landlord, Shady parking fee

Photo Credit: iStock

One tenant took to Reddit to ask whether their landlord's fees for an electric vehicle charging station were reasonable or whether they were getting scammed.

EVs are becoming more popular than ever as a cheap, quiet, and eco-friendly way to get around. Besides reducing air pollution, they're usually affordable to charge — for homeowners with control over their charging stations. For renters, the situation can be more complicated.

"How much does your landlord charge you for electricity for your EV?" the tenant asks in a post on r/LosAngeles

They go on to explain that in addition to charging $0.40 per kilowatt hour for the electricity, the landlord is also asking for an additional $20, even though the tenant already pays rent for the parking spot. 

"Am I crazy, or is this very high for LA?" they ask.

Commenters confirm that the price is unreasonable. 

"I'm currently on [Southern California Edison]'s EV rate of $0.23 per kWh," says one commenter, while other users name prices including $0.26 and $0.31 per kilowatt hour. The original poster says this is in line with their research. 

"I've heard 26 cents is the average for homeowners in LA," they say.

Renters tend to be at a disadvantage compared to homeowners when it comes to owning EVs. There isn't much financial incentive for landlords to install EV charging stations, which is why third-party services like Amperage Capital have sprung up to fill the gap. These providers will install and maintain the charging station, reducing the risk and expense for the homeowner.

But in cases like this, some landlords seem to see it as an opportunity to gouge prices. 

"They are making a good profit," says one user, who agrees the price is high for the area. Another user says, "I'd make sure it all sounds legal," and links to an Astanehe Law page regarding EV charging for tenants.

If the original poster has to take legal action to get access to an eco-friendly EV charger, they won't be the first. Others have had to sue landlords and HOAs to make money-saving and environmentally responsible improvements, like the Redditor who recently threatened to sue over the right to install solar panels.

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