Tenant Is Shocked at How High Landlord Charges Him for EV: ‘They’re making a good profit’

In Los Angeles, the city of stars and smog, electric vehicles (EVs) are the new celebrities on the block. But for tenants, charging an EV is becoming a blockbuster horror show as they uncover their landlords’ sky-high fees.

Let’s unravel these electrifying charges and explore how tenants navigate this high-voltage dilemma.

High Charging Rate

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One tenant exposed a shocking trend: landlords in Los Angeles are imposing exorbitant fees on tenants for EV charging — as high as 40 cents per kilowatt-hour plus a $20 monthly service fee.

This revelation jolted many people, prompting others to share their electrifying stories.

How Tenants are Getting Zapped

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While EVs are a sustainable alternative to their gas-guzzling counterparts, the costs for tenants can be a bolt from the blue. One person shared their experience, revealing a startling 40 cents per kilowatt plus an additional $20 monthly.

“Am I crazy, or is this very high for LA?” they asked a question that resonated with many.

Rates That Will Make Your Hair Stand on End

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Other comments highlighted a jarring contrast between what landlords charge for electricity and the actual costs. Several tenants reported rates significantly lower than 40 cents, such as 23, 31, and 12 cents kWh, pointing to potential disconnect and opportunism among some landlords.

The Legal Landscape

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Regarding landlord-tenant laws, the legality of imposing additional fees for services like EV charging can be complex. According to California Civil Code Section 1940.20, landlords cannot unreasonably restrict tenants from installing EV charging stations in their designated parking spaces. However, the law doesn’t explicitly regulate the fees landlords can charge for using existing charging stations.

Tenants facing this issue should consult legal counsel or contact local tenant rights organizations to understand their rights and explore possible actions.

The Real Cost of Charging Your EV

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Charging your electric vehicle (EV) is not as straightforward as filling up a gas tank. The cost can vary widely depending on several factors, including your vehicle’s battery capacity, the local cost of electricity, and whether you’re charging at home or a public station.

For instance, the average price of electricity in California is about 18 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), but this can be higher or lower depending on your utility provider and plan. On average, charging an EV like the Nissan LEAF with a 40-kWh battery would cost about $7 to fully charge at home, significantly less than the cost of gas for a comparable distance.

Public charging can be more expensive, with drivers in California potentially paying 30 cents per kWh for Level 2 charging and 40 cents per kWh for DC fast charging. However, many public charging stations also offer flat-rate sessions or monthly subscription plans that can reduce costs.

Protecting Yourself from Excessive Fees

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Don’t let your green drive lead you into the red. Charging your electric vehicle (EV) shouldn’t break the bank; with the right knowledge and strategy, you can avoid excessive fees.

Here’s how to plug into savings while powering up your EV:

1. Understand Your Usage

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Becoming knowledgeable about your EV’s electricity consumption is crucial. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s battery capacity, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and how much charge it typically requires after your daily use.

Most modern EVs offer detailed consumption reports. By understanding your usage patterns, you can better assess whether the fees your landlord is charging are reasonable or inflated.

2. Review Your Lease

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Your lease agreement is a key document that outlines the terms of your tenancy, including any additional fees and services. If you’re already in a lease, review it to understand the terms related to EV charging — are there specific fees mentioned, or is charging included as a utility?

For those negotiating a new lease, this is the time to clarify these points. Ensure any agreed terms are clearly documented to avoid unexpected charges later on.

3. Research Local Laws

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Laws governing tenant rights and utilities can vary significantly by city and state. In California, for instance, landlords must not unreasonably restrict a tenant’s ability to install an EV charging station in their designated parking space, per Civil Code Section 1947.6.

However, this law doesn’t regulate the fees landlords might charge for the electricity used. Understanding these nuances can empower you to negotiate effectively and challenge unfair practices.

4. Explore Incentives

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Various incentives can help offset the costs of EV ownership. In California, programs like the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project offer rebates for purchasing and leasing new, eligible zero-emission vehicles, including EVs. Additionally, utility companies may offer discounted electricity rates during off-peak hours, which can significantly reduce charging costs.

Investigate local programs in your area, and consider contacting your utility company for information on any available incentives or discount programs.

The road to sustainability shouldn’t include a premium price tag for renters. As more people turn to electric vehicles, access to affordable charging options must become a standard amenity, not a luxury. By staying informed and advocating for fair practices, tenants can play a pivotal role in driving this change, ensuring a greener, more equitable future for all.

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Image Credit: Krakenimages.com/DepositPhotos.
  1. driveclean.ca.gov/electric-car-charging
  2. cpuc.ca.gov/industries-and-topics/electrical-energy/infrastructure/transportation-electrification/electricity-rates-and-cost-of-fueling
  3. dot.la/cost-of-ev-charging-station-2658763899.html

This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter. It was inspired by this Reddit thread.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.