A couple living in a property belonging to the Royal Household have said they are facing eviction over electric car charging. Having been forced to spend more time at home in lockdown, they used a common socket without permission.
The BBC reports, the tenants had received a notice in October saying they had to leave their flat in Royal Mews, Hampton Court. The couple said this was because they had used a local power socket to charge their electric car, according to the rental agency.
They had indeed used a local power socket, without permission but only rarely, as it came down to a bill estimated at £32. The dispute points at a bigger problem in the Royal Household, a lack of charging infrastructure.
Ms Bow Du Toit, one of the tenants, told the BBC, the eviction had demonstrated “the lack of forward-thinking when it comes to charging cars in residential lettings, in particular, the royal households”.
Mr Brown, the other tenant, said he had approached the agency already in 2018 about installing a charge point when they first seemed “receptive” he said. He bought a Volkswagen e-Golf in 2019 and had been charging it at his workplace because the Royal Household refused to install a charge point at the property.
He was then told the decision not to install a charging station was final – as is the termination of the lease, it appears.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said in a statement the Royal Household “engages an external agency to lease a small number of residential properties at Hampton Court Mews” and that tenancies were terminated “very rarely and only in exceptional circumstances”.
At Buckingham Palace, electric cars are not a rarity. The common fleet includes some Nissan and BMW electric vehicles and Prince Charles has reportedly shown himself a fan of the Jaguar I-Pace. His son, Harry also used a custom-made electric Jaguar at his wedding.
We’ve also had reports that they will install two charge points at Windsor Castle – if heritage allows – but expect these are clearly not to be open to commoners.
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