Bill presented: right to private wallbox with a lot of potential for conflict

After years of debate, the Federal Ministry of Justice has presented a draft law for the right to private charging in underground garages or in parking lots. Accordingly, every home owner can in the future "require appropriate structural changes that (…) serve to charge electrically powered vehicles (…)", says the draft speaker, published on January 14, 2020 (PDF), About the implementation of the installation "to be decided within the framework of proper administration", In the future, tenants will also be able to request that the landlord make structural changes to the rental property that will be used to charge electric cars.

According to experts and the energy industry, the corresponding legal changes for a claim to a charging option have long been overdue. So far, there are hardly any charging options for electric cars in apartment buildings.

Owners can set guidelines

The draft now submitted is based on the results of a federal-state working group that was set up by the Ministry of Justice in July 2018. The aim of the working group was a more comprehensive reform of the property law, which delayed a separate regulation for electric mobility. The government expects the law to come into force in autumn 2020 at the earliest.

If the regulation is implemented in this form, an owner's meeting would still have to decide on the installation of a private wallbox. The claim can also be enforced in court through a decision-making action. However, the reasons for the law state: "As a rule, the owners' meeting must not deny the construction measures. However, it can influence the way the measure is carried out and, for example, decide that the community organizes the construction measure so that it can keep an overview of the structural condition of the residential complex."

Who bears the costs?

Job market

  1. Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund, Berlin
  2. Basler Insurance, Hamburg

Furthermore, the draft stipulates that the corresponding apartment owner must bear the costs incurred. "Only the uses are due to him"it continues. The homeowners can go further "decide on a different distribution of costs and uses", However, this does not impose any costs on an apartment owner who actually does not have to pay for the electrical installation for the wall boxes.

This is to make it possible that initially only those owners who actually want to charge an electric car in the garage assume the costs. At the same time, a flexible distribution of costs could ensure that owners who only use the installation later do not benefit from the investments of the pioneers without cost sharing.

Nevertheless, this point already has potential for conflict. In most cases, it should make sense to move a separate sub-distribution into the garage from the house connection, from which all wall boxes can then be connected in the long term. But if other owners refuse to share the costs, it could be expensive for the electric car pioneers in the beginning. In the case of undersizing, on the other hand, there is a risk of expensive subsequent or parallel installations.

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