Joe Keating installed the device for his BMW on the wall next to his parking space at his rented apartment in Rochdale. He planned the installation to help slash his carbon emissions and save on fuel costs.
However, soon after, he was sent a letter from managing agents Stevenson Whyte asking him to remove the power-point – a move which he says is “heavy handed” and shows a reluctance to support the “green agenda”.
The managing agents acknowledged the hurdles electric vehicle owners face when living in apartment blocks are a big issue in the industry, but said they have a “duty of care to ensure the safety of all individuals at the development and a responsibility to ensure the lease terms are complied with”.
Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Joe admitted he did not ask his managing agents before installing the charging point for his vehicle, worth almost £50,000. However, he said he “welcomed” a constructive conversation about the issue. He also said he had been denied any opportunity to appeal the decision.
“I can’t be the only person that lives in that type of accommodation and will be now starting to think about trying to move towards a low carbon economy, and we’re all going to have to have these kinds of vehicles eventually.
“There’s no immediate plans from the developing agent to put any charge points in, so what am I supposed to do?”
He also pointed out that the UK suffered its hottest day on record in the last month, saying that people will “have to get on board a bit more” with electric vehicles given the climate emergency.
“It just feels a bit heavy handed in the backdrop of the highest temperatures the UK has ever had. We’ve got impending charges around Greater Manchester with all the Clean Air Zone plans. As a society, we need to change these barriers that are in the way unnecessarily.”
Joe’s ordeal comes amid fears that inner city residents will be excluded from the electric car revolution due to a lack of charging stations. The Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) website says there are currently 360 electric vehicle chargers in Greater Manchester, and you can use their website to find your nearest point.
The government is also funding an EV home-charge scheme, where it pays 75 percent of the cost of installing an off-street charging station. Those renting or living in communal buildings, however, are subject to landlord permissions and limitations, and installing a power-point can be challenging.
A spokesperson for Stevenson Whyte, which manages the building, said: “We have a duty of care to ensure the safety of all individuals at the development and a responsibility to ensure the lease terms are complied with. If all lease holders were to install their own equipment on the development without permission or control there would be significant issues with long term management, aesthetics and safety.
“The installation of electrical charging points in apartment blocks is an issue that all Leaseholders/Freeholders across the country will continue to face in the coming years and hopefully with time, more safe and compliant methods will be achievable for all leaseholders.”