If flat owners want to install EV charge points in their blocks, they face an array of problems. These include restrictions on development or modifications within building leases, who pays for charge point installation, and how costs should be allocated among residents. But George Freeman MP, Minister of State for the Future of Transport has stated in a letter to leading EV charge point provider Future Fuel, that commonhold is the answer to leaseholders’ problems.
Director of Future Group, Jamie Willsdon disagrees. He approached the Department of Transport last month in the wake of the government’s consultation on proposed changes to the building regulations that aim to give every new residential building with a parking space, an EV charge point. Existing blocks have been excluded from the proposals and Jamie wants to know why.
Responding to Jamie’s questions, Mr Freeman says ““With regard to ensuring leaseholders are not denied the right to install charging infrastructure, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government are working to make commonhold more widely used in which, unlike the leasehold system, the individual has absolute ownership over the property. We are also working with industry to ensure guidance is available to allow landlords to understand and have confidence in the installation of charge points at their properties”.
However, Jamie believes the government has “fundamentally misunderstood” the nature of commonhold and its likely impact on the many questions around EV charging raised by leasehold property. The communal areas of commonhold property are still owned by a separate entity to the unit owners – known as a ‘commonhold association’ - and as such an individual still needs permission to install EV charging infrastructure, he says.
Jamie is determined to continue his campaign on behalf of flat owners and will be following up on the Minister’s pledge to ensure that effective guidance around EV installation is made available to landlords.