With the UK proposing to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and electric cars expected to become the norm, the infrastructure needed to charge them is expanding. Their growing numbers make it increasingly necessary for landlords to install electric charging points within car parks at their buildings and on their estates as part of the package of services available to tenants.
In view of these developments, if you are a landlord looking to install one or more electric charging points, here are a number of factors you need to consider:
Does a tenant already have a right to a space that you have identified for a charging point? If so, could you agree that the relevant tenant surrenders their rights to you in exchange for a premium or find an alternative location? If you have granted a general right to the tenants of the building to use the parking spaces you’ve selected to install EV charging points within the car park, it is important to check that you have reserved rights in each of the tenant leases to install electric charging points. You may consider offering alternative parking spaces to the tenants.
It is important to consider how you are going to pay for the installation and maintenance of the charging points. For instance, are the service charge provisions in each of the tenant leases broad enough for you to recharge such costs to the tenants? Also, are there any service charge caps that could prevent you from recovering the full cost of installation and maintenance from the tenants? Check if there are any governmental grants available to cover the costs of installing charging points.
Another important consideration is how you will charge for the day-to-day use of the charging point. Depending on the charging point provider, you might need users to install an app on their phone or you could use a simple payment pad to pay via bank card.
Consider precisely who will have rights to use the charging points. Will it only be the tenants of the building, or will it be the general public? If the latter, would this cause a nuisance to the tenants? If you’re promoting electric chargers when renting out a property, it might be more appealing to potential tenants if they have exclusive usage. On the flip side, if your tenants don’t have a huge number of electric vehicles, it might be a good way to create an extra stream of income if you open this up to the public.
If you have a leasehold interest in the building, do you need any consents from your superior landlord to install charging points? Similarly, if your interest is charged to the bank, is their consent required to install charging points? Another factor to consider is whether planning permission is required to install a charging point, which you can check with your local planning office.
Have you checked with your insurers if the presence of a charging point affects the building insurance policy and any third-party liability cover that you may have? With electric charging still a relatively new concept, it’s worth getting in touch with your insurers to make sure your policy covers any liability you might be at risk of when installing charging stations on your property.
As with any structural change, there are logistical considerations that landlords need to factor into their plans. For example, is any other cabling required to connect the charging point to mains electricity? Or how could you ensure that the charging point does not exceed the building’s power capacity?
It’s best to get in touch with an installer early in the process to help establish what can and cannot be achieved on your property. If you have an electrician that you tend to use for maintenance, it’s worth inviting them to your initial discussions to help give a more holistic view of the work.
With government plans on EV charging being brought forward, it’s worth staying up to speed with the latest regulations and start planning your EV charging requirements now.
If you’re considering investing in property or are looking to make changes to an existing portfolio, get in touch with the experts at Louis Taylor who will be able to support and advise on how to make sure you get the most return and stay future-proof.