Miami Herald Real Estate Counselor Column by Gary Mars: “Electric Vehicle Chargers At or Near Top of Many Condo Community Wish Lists”

Siegfried Rivera
February 27, 2022


The firm’s latest “Real Estate Counselor” column in the Miami Herald authored by Gary M. Mars is featured in today’s Neighbors section and titled “Electric Vehicle Chargers At or Near Top of Many Condo Community Wish Lists.”  The article focuses on a state law that was ratified last year to facilitate the addition of shared electric vehicle charging stations as an amenity for the use of owners and guests in Florida condominium communities.  It reads:

. . . For condominium dwellers, the lack of access to electrical charging in congested parking garages with assigned spaces initially proved to be a significant challenge for those with EVs. Wisely, the Florida Legislature passed several new laws in recent years to address the installation of charging stations in condominiums, and the law that went into effect last July to facilitate the deployment of shared community EV charging stations may be the most important yet.

The law clarified that the installation of shared EV charging stations for a community’s owners and guests can be ratified via a simple vote of a condominium association’s board of directors, and it would not require a vote and approval of all the unit owners as is needed for projects involving what are called “material alterations.” The prior new charging-station laws addressed installations to be paid for and used by individual unit owners at their assigned parking spaces.

The problem with that model is that very often there is inadequate electrical infrastructure to install such charging stations without it becoming exorbitantly expensive. EV charging requires heavy-duty electrical cables and equipment that are capable of handling the high-capacity loads necessary to fully charge vehicles in just a few hours, as opposed to 12 hours or more using standard 110-volt outlets. Plus, the electrical consumption needs to be metered and billed to the owner, also requiring additional equipment and expenses.

Instead, the solution that many Florida condominium communities and their association boards of directors are now or will soon be considering is the installation of shared chargers in designated EV parking zones for all unit owners and their guests, as the new state law now provides. This should begin by contacting FPL or the community’s electric utility for its initial input and assessment, and obtaining consultations and proposals from contractors specializing in shared EV charging stations.

All the information and proposals should then be vetted and discussed in the open forum of the regularly scheduled association board meetings. This will enable all the interested owners to share their thoughts and concerns about the charging stations and their cost-benefit analysis. Vendors and contractors can be invited to attend the meetings to answer questions and provide detailed feedback on the installation and any pertinent issues that would require attention.

EV chargers are on their way to becoming ubiquitous, and the companies that focus on commercial-grade charging stations for condominiums and apartment buildings are providing solutions to defray the costs of their installation over time via the paid usage from drivers. They are also making them as user friendly as possible with smartphone apps to pay for charging and receive alerts on the status of a vehicle’s charge as well as the availability of chargers. . .

Gary concludes his article by noting that scores of new EV models are set for introduction during the next several years from the world’s leading manufacturers, and charging stations are quickly becoming one of the most desirable new upgrades for condominium communities.  He writes that they can have an immediate and lasting positive impact on property values, and boards of directors would be wise to take advantage of the new Florida law to consider them.

Our firm salutes Gary for sharing his insights into this important new addition for condominium communities with the readers of the Miami HeraldClick here to read the complete article in the newspaper’s website.