Trinity Management Services, reportedly one of San Francisco’s largest landlords, has put the kabash on one of its tenant’s intentions to recharge his Chevy Volt on premises.

According to a newscast by a Bay Area ABC affiliate which focuses on such perceived inequities, tenant Richard Wiesner got himself the new plug-in car which can be recharged in eight hours on regular 120-volt current, but was firmly denied permission.

The video lays out the case, but the short story is this landlord barring all its tenants isn't the first or last, and such phenomena could represent a rude logjam in the stream of progress toward green cars at an epicenter of green car adoption.


For its part, the landlord reportedly said only that it would deny any plug-in vehicles from recharging, but refused to comment further.

An attorney interviewed by the TV news team verified that the letter of the law says the landlord is not contractually obliged to allow discretionary access to the outlet.

That said, the receptacle is right next to the indoor parking spot the tenant would use, and before it became an issue, it was presumably there for other benign purposes – such as as perhaps for a shop vac – although that is only implied, not entirely clear.

Further, Wiesner offered to pay for the few extra kilowatts, but that was a no-go as well – perhaps because it would need a meter and that could turn into a hassle if others wanted the same arrangement?

What ever the case, given that somewhere around half of Bay Area dwellers reportedly rent their homes, the newscast said this could be a repeated problem in the face of an otherwise strong initiative to encourage cars that plug in.

And to be sure, the overall tide of sentiment is in favor of green cars, and in other quarters advocates have said such things as businesses and employers might readily provide plug access for free or for a nominal fee as a value-added service.

But that is apparently a wishful fantasy in this purported backwoods corner of the Bay Area region. Despite Wiesner’s reasoned entreaties, the landlord simply said no.

Really, it’s a classic case of what constitutes a right versus a privilege, and a repeat of the age-old saga of who has the moral upper hand besides.

For his part, Wiesner said he thinks a decade from now he’ll be able to look back and laugh at a retracted mentality and policy that tried to stand in the way of plug-in vehicles.

For balance, we’d add also the landlord’s position, but we cannot, because it has only said no comment.

KGO-TV San Francisco