Many Canadians are looking for ways to live more environmentally-friendly lives. However, those living in a residence where condo bylaws apply may face challenges in doing so. When making lifestyle changes, such individuals must be considerate of the agreements for renovations and energy use. A resident of Ottawa learned this the hard way when she was ordered to pay extra for the hydro she was using to charge her hybrid electric car in the building parking lot.
The Ontario homeowner was told that plugging her new vehicle into parking lot outlets was against condo bylaws. The regulations only allow block heaters to be plugged into these outlets. In response, the property manager shut the terminal down to prevent her from using energy in the lot.
The vehicle's owner is offering to pay the legal costs of changing the bylaw. She is also willing to pay an additional $35 per month for hydro expenses. However, her proposal has been rejected by the condo board who say that the posts cannot handle charging multiple cars. While the board considers electric cars to be a technological advancement that will increase in popularity, they would like to do a full evaluation before revisiting the rules altogether.
Until that time, the Ottawa woman has a new car which she cannot charge at her home. The story raises an important point for condo owners. Before making a major purchase that may require permission or accommodation from the building, it is important to check condo bylaws. Condo boards and tenants alike do well to consult a condo lawyer to establish or remove bylaws when issues arise.