Cars and parking in a private residential block of flats is part of the benefits of being a leaseholder. Whether it’s knowing your rights over parking places, restrictions on parking, who pays for lighting and security etc, please read HERE for more information in this regard.
Right now though, we’d like to update the legislations and grants being offered to landlords when it comes to Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargepoints. In the world of residential property ownership, the buzz surrounding the electric charging grant has caught the attention of landlords far and wide.
Read the Government legislation link here: The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 for any detailed content you’re after, but let’s try and cover what you’ll need to know in this article.
From 15 June 15, did you know that all new homes built in England are now required to have electric car chargers installed, as well as new-build workplaces and buildings undergoing major renovations; oh, and don’t forget supermarkets! With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, the availability of an electric charging grant for residential properties could serve as a powerful incentive for landlords to invest in charging infrastructure.
Any new building development with associated parking must have access to electric car chargepoints, in a change to building regulations.
There’s always a footnote though, and in this regard it’s that it does not apply to work:
- subject to a building notice;
- full plans application; or
- initial notice submitted before that date, provided the work is started on site before June 15, 2023.
Developers of new builds can gain grants from several entities, but in the main, let’s talk about existing buildings with residential car parking for this article.
WHAT’S THE LAW FOR BLOCKS OF FLATS AND ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGEPOINTS AS AT JULY 2022?
More to the point, what’s the change in the manufacturing of EV Smart chargepoints which will have a beneficial impact for both residents and property managers?
From 30 June 2022 all manufacturers of EV smart chargepoints must incur the cost, which will make so many happy when it comes to service charges and who pays what! That said, who’s to say the manufacturer doesn’t add the extra costings to the purchaser under the guise of trade price. That’s something to keep an eye on in the future. By obtaining the electric charging grant, landlords can not only enhance the appeal of their properties but also contribute to a sustainable future by encouraging the adoption of eco-friendly transportation options.
The Government’s transition words surrounding moving to cars with zero emissions.
Together, we welcome the new opportunities for clean growth, green jobs and public health benefits from improving air quality; and that this transition could also boost energy security and help balance electricity grids as we make the transition to clean power. The implementation of the electric charging grant program may vary from region to region, but its overarching goal remains clear – to foster the expansion of electric vehicle infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions.
Landlords working with progressive EV chargepoint manufacturers will see their residents working with them to ensure their needs are met. Sales of EV cars is rocketing, change is happening!
MANUFACTURERS OF EV CHARGEPOINTS GUIDANCE
An easy oversight might be how manufacturers promote themselves by coming on board with new rules. Worth noting that they cannot use the OZEV logo, which is for government use only. They can state that their equipment is OZEV-approved however, so worth updating websites and marketing material on that point.
We are a digital world now and EV chargepoints are no different, which is why there needs to be security surrounding cybercrime. Some landlords may have reservations about the costs and logistics of setting up charging stations, but the electric charging grant can alleviate such concerns by providing financial assistance and technical support.
Manufacturers must either comply with the cybersecurity requirements in The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 or provide answers to the following questions:
- How does the chargepoint ensure an appropriate level of encryption of the communications between the chargepoint and the chargepoint operator?
- How does the chargepoint operator ensure its communications and functions are appropriately encrypted?
HOW DO YOU REGISTER YOUR CHARGEPOINTS FOR OZEV CHARGEPOINT GRANT SCHEMES AS A MANUFACTURER?
On 1 April 2022, the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) reformed its grant schemes. The EV chargepoint grant replaced the Electric Vehicles Homecharge Scheme (EVHS).
There’s a plethora of evidence that needs to be shown for the grant, and any other government incentive is the same, but worth planning aggressively for. Beyond the immediate advantages for landlords, the electric charging grant could lead to increased property value and heightened demand from environmentally conscious renters seeking convenient EV charging options.
The UK are set to cease the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
The policy papers from the COP26 global conference says that the collective governments agree to have all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission by 2040 or earlier, or by no later than 2035 in leading markets.
In property and urban development and infrastructure, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive!
WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR THE EV CHARGEPOINT MANUFACTURER GRANT SCHEME
The following documents are required for each model to be approved for the grant scheme via the OZEV:
- warranty document*
- declaration of conformity certificate
- operating manual
- statements regarding the cybersecurity (see above) of the chargepoint.
*what’s need for the warranty document:
To be approved by OZEV, the warranty document must include:
- a statement that confirms that the minimum operational life of the chargepoint is 3 years from the date of installation
- a statement that confirms that the warranty is valid for a period of 3 years from the date of installation
- a statement that confirms that any on-site assistance, repairs and replacements are provided for free
- a statement that confirms that the warranty covers both parts and labour
- an explanation of the procedures for the customer to seek the manufacturer’s assistance, including contact details of the manufacturer (or the third party that provides assistance)
- a list of the evidence necessary for the customer to obtain the manufacturer’s assistance
- a list of the exclusions and caveats that make the warranty inapplicable
The list might seem exhaustive and the loops never-ending to jump through, but if manufacturers come on board with a desire for growth whilst complementing a greener world,
their acceptance of the grant through needed evidence will only set them on a better path moving forward.
For more guidelines for the grant approval process please click the government’s link HERE.
RESIDENTIAL LANDOWNERS’ ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGEPOINT SCHEME
Back to the essence of being a landlord or resident having to manage the EV chargepoints of the resident who needs the EV chargepoint! As this movement gains momentum, I can’t help but wonder how this electric charging grant initiative will shape the future landscape of residential properties, forging a path towards greener and more sustainable communities.
The financial grant for landlords of residential and commercial properties is coming. Yes, the government has said, through the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) that if you are accepted for the grant, it will fund you up to 75% of the total cost of buying and installing an OZEV approved charge point, up to a maximum of £350 per socket installed.
Owing to air pollutions concerns, sustainability issues and climate change our residential car parks for blocks and private landlords have to be ready transformation. 2030 isn’t far away when there will be a ban of selling petrol and diesel vehicles.
Tenants WANT to be EV ready.
With the EVHS grant residents (owners or renters) qualify for up to £350 per person, towards the cost of installing a chargepoint.
Owners of apartment blocks can avail up to £30k per building, with a limit of 30 applications (per year per applicant).
Existing buildings can apply for this grant (through their freeholder or leaseholder – see below) as new builds have new legislation.
Communal bays are preferred as shared space is more economical – but of course the choice is up to the applicant based on the capital cost vs the benefit etc.
Why now for the grant?
New sales have been triggered with the desire for more of us wanting a greener way of living, struggling with urban pollution, the cost of living and fuel prices, and the fact that we know as consumers what’s coming around the corner.
Low emission zones are areas in a city that charge high-polluting vehicles to enter, so if you are a management company or resident living in an urban setting, it’s going to make sense to plan ahead now.
The low emission zones are being introduced as part of a wider strategy by the government to improve air quality across the UK. It ties in with the plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
WHICH CITIES ARE ENFORCING LOW EMISSION ZONES?
A number of places are planning on introducing and expanding low emission zones or clean air zones, including (but growing all the time so keep an eye out on your city and local authority websites):
The ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) is in London, covering all vehicles that don’t meet emissions standards.
Does this affect you? Have a look at Transport for London link HERE
Birmingham’s CAZ operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At the time of writing, these vehicles are good to go (i.e., no fine!):
- A moped or motorcycle.
- A diesel vehicle minimum standard Euro 6
- A petrol vehicle minimum standard Euro 4
- A vehicle with zero emissions (electric, hydrogen)
- A low emissions vehicle
A pilot for Oxford’s zero emission zone started on 28 February 2022 and runs between 7am and 7pm all-year round. For more information the zones, have a read HERE.
Bristol’s zone will start later this year. Same vehicles apply as Birmingham above.
To check your vehicle will be exempt or given the all clear for Bristol’s Clear Air Zone, then use the government’s checking tool HERE.
Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow
Low emission zones were introduced into Scottish cities in May 2022, although they are not enforceable just yet (giving time for commuters and residents to plan ahead).
- Aberdeen (plan for enforcement June 2024)
- Dundee (plan for enforcement May 2024)
- Edinburgh (plan for enforcement June 2024)
- Glasgow (June 2023 enforcement but for residents in the zone itself, it will be June 2024)
These zones are in force 24 hours a day, all-year-round. Rather than charging non-compliant vehicles to use the zone, the Scottish government will introduce £60 PCN penalties for vehicles that don’t meet emissions standards.
Need help with any of these areas? Click HERE.
As an incentive to residents and commuters in Bradford, the authority is offering grants of up to £3,200 for vehicles that don’t meet emissions standards.
What vehicles don’t meet Bradford’s Clean Air Zone which goes live 26 September 2022? Have a read of their website HERE.
When it comes to residential blocks of flats and resident parking (including underground parking) it’s worth applying for the EVHS grant.
WHO CAN APPLY FOR THE EVHS GRANT?
A freeholder or leaseholder (with the freeholder’s consent); plus, you must be registered at Companies House and / or be VAT registered. If you are a private registered provider off social housing, you are also encouraged to apply.
See below in a bit more detail:
WHAT DOES “FREEHOLDER” OR “LEASEHOLDER WITH CONSENT” FOR THE GRANT MEAN?
To be considered when applying for the grant as a freeholder (or leaseholder with the freeholder’s consent) you will need to be one of the following:
- Landlord of a property that lets the property.
- Right to manage (RTM) company.
- Companies owning the freehold of a leased or rented property.
- Companies owning a building’s common areas. The company may comprise shareholders who are the leaseholders. The company may also manage the building.
- Property factor listed on the property factor register.
- Private registered providers of social housing (PRP).
- Public authorities.
- Housing association (infrastructure grant only).
- Residents’ management company (infrastructure grant only).
There is an application journey that is never too early to commence with.
From creating an account (at which point you must mention if you are linked to another enterprise), to the submission of information (the site, property, number of bays, size of car park etc). For acceptance to continue with receiving the grant you will need to be accepted on both these levels:
- Applicant Level, and
- Scheme Level.
The first three parts of the application journey will have the onus on you as the landlord to deliver, but the next three stages will be on the shoulders of the installer.
4th stage is assigning the installer, next it’s proof of installation (invoice and photographic evidence) and thereafter the last stage is the claim acceptance and payment.
Just as a side note, as a resident you must have a qualifying electrical vehicle to qualify.
ACTIVE v PASSIVE INSTALLATION OF CHARGEPOINTS
When it comes to understanding the installation requirements it’s good to understand the difference between “Active” and “Passive”.
Active means the chargepoints are already installed and commissioned so a vehicle can be charged right now.
Passive means the civil engineering and structural underground work is completed and ready, but the installation of the chargepoint needs to be configured to make it active.
Worth planning for passive infrastructures now as you can decide how many bays require activity in the future.
We watched a webinar surrounding the subject of integrating EV chargepoints and one of the questions put forward was about garages. The question was:
Q) approximately 1/3 of 26 residents have garages, are they included for a grant?
A) Yes, as long as they are part of residential units and they are on leasehold land.
Thinking of buying a new fleet of vehicles if you are a management company or work with preferred suppliers and contractors who you think might want advice on vehicle choice for future? Read on!
CAR & VAN MANUFACTURERS SIGNED UP TO 100% ZERO EMISSION
A handy list of automobile companies in agreement with COP26’s declaration-on-accelerating-the-transition-to-100-zero-emission-cars-and-vans
- Avera Electric Vehicles
- BYD Auto
- Etrio Automobiles Private Limited
- Ford Motor Company
- Gayam Motor Works
- General Motors
- Jaguar Land Rover
- Lotus Cars
- Quantum Motors
- Volt Motors
- Volvo Cars
HANDY LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EV CHARGEPOINTS
We are listing useful links from the government and experts with detailed content and necessary forms here:
SUMMING THE EV CHARGEPOINT INFORMATION FOR LANDLORDS
The team and I here at LMP Law are experts in property law and residential property management, staying up-to-date on all legislation that impacts working and living in the leasehold sector.
Our job is to protect you and your residents and ensure that your business doesn’t become liable for any consequences as a result of not keeping abreast of legislative updates.
One thing we’d really advise all our clients to do with their existing buildings (with car parks) would be to get passive infrastructure sorted sooner rather than later! Much more cost-effective in the long run. Big thanks also to the Energy Saving Trust whose webinars are super helpful in this regard.