Lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicle chargers in rental properties

As electric cars, bikes and scooters increase in popularity, it’s important for everyone to understand their responsibilities to keep people and properties safe when it comes to charging lithium batteries and installing electric vehicle chargers.  

Both property managers/owners and tenants/residents play a role in ensuring electrical safety in a rental property – but what does this mean when it comes to evolving electric vehicle technology?

Charging lithium-ion batteries

Most household rechargeable devices – including mobile phones, power tools, electric scooters and vehicles – now use either lithium or lithium-ion batteries, which can be charged using standard electrical outlets in a rental property.  

Property managers/owners have general obligations to ensure any repairs required for electrical outlets are carried out and are responsible for ensuring the premises meet all health and safety standards including minimum housing standards.

Property managers/owners may include special terms in the tenancy agreement about the use of electrical outlets for charging lithium-ion batteries, however, the special terms must not conflict with the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008.  

Tenants/residents should be mindful of their responsibility to keep the rental property and its inclusions in a clean condition (as it was at the start of the tenancy), and not cause any damage to the premises or its inclusions. Queensland Fire and Emergency Services recommend only using devices and equipment from reputable manufacturers and suppliers, and following the provided charging instructions. The ACCC has also published a report urging consumers to use and store lithium-ion batteries safely to prevent fires.

To dispose of batteries, please check your local Council’s website to ensure they are disposed of safely.

Installing electric vehicle chargers

Most electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries which require charging.

Electric vehicle chargers are considered a fixture in a property, which means tenants/residents must seek approval from the property manager/owner before a charging station can be installed. Approval is at the discretion of the property manager/owner—they are not obligated to agree to the request.  

Property managers/owners may also want to contact their home insurance provider to confirm whether a charging station will impact their insurance premium. If there are additional costs, these cannot be passed onto the tenant/resident. Tenants/residents are responsible for their own contents and vehicle insurance.  

If the rental property is part of a body corporate, there may also be additional steps to consider. Bodies corporate may also have by-laws or rules in place relating to charging vehicles or other devices in common areas.

If the property manager/owner approves the tenant/resident’s request to install an electric vehicle charger, the charging station must be electrically compliant and installed by a qualified electrician. For more information, see the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ advice on electric vehicle fire safety and the Queensland Government’s information and safety tips about lithium-ion battery-operated equipment.


Want to discuss your individual circumstances or your rights and responsibilities? You can contact us in person and over the phone Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm.   

Original publication on 19 Apr 2024
Last updated on 23 Apr 2024

Note: While the RTA makes every reasonable effort to ensure that information on this website is accurate at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after publication may impact on the accuracy of material. This disclaimer is in addition to and does not limit the application of the Residential Tenancies Authority website disclaimer.