Hoverboards: Should Your Bylaws Be Amended to Ban Them?

Posted on Thursday September 01, 2016 |

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled 500,000 hoverboards, also known as self-balancing scooters. The lithium-ion battery packs on these devices pose a serious risk of overheating that can result in the devices smoking, catching fire and/or exploding. 
 
There have been numerous reports of individual apartments sustaining damage when a battery pack was left unattended while charging. As such, several FirstService Residential buildings have either banned hoverboards or imposed rules against them. 
 
One co-op board recently adopted a house rule that strictly prohibits the presence of hoverboards in the building. Another inserted this amendment into the house rules section of their bylaws: 
 
“Hazardous Devices: No shareholder may use, store or permit the use of any material, device, apparatus, vehicle or other item which is considered highly combustible and/or poses a considerable risk of fire or other hazard or which has not met federal safety standards. This includes but is not limited to the use of hoverboards and any other motorized leisure vehicle or product which has been banned entirely or where use has been restricted under local jurisdictions.”
 
Should your co-op or condo board consider prohibiting the presence of hoverboards on the property or the storage of such devices within individual units? 
 
“If the board elects to amend the bylaws, rules and/or regulations to address the risk associated with these devices, it should consult with the building’s attorney,” according to Benjamin Kirschenbaum, vice president and general counsel, FirstService Residential. “Any new rule must be adopted in a manner that will be enforceable against a resident who does not adhere to the rule.”
 
 

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