Depending on the property, it can be very difficult for people living in Multi-Unit Dwellings to receive approval from Home Owner Associations (HOAs) or Condominium Associations to install home charging equipment even in dedicated parking spaces.
There are a few approaches to take. Education of HOAs, Urban Fast Chargers/Superchargers, etc., but we believe that a legislative approach is probably the most direct means of addressing this issue.
There was a time when people living in Multi-Unit Dwelling couldn’t even install equipment for video reception until a common-sense law was enacted. Likewise, we think that the time has come for a similar fair and common-sense law to be passed dealing with the this charging equipment issue.
As a starting point, our club prepared draft legislative language to make it easier for condo owners to obtain permission from HOAs or condo associations to install home charging equipment.
The idea was to require condominium associations to bargain in good faith with the unit owners concerning the installation of electric vehicle charging equipment.
The unit owners would have to pay for the installation, maintenance, electricity and abide by reasonable architectural standards, etc. However, it would be illegal for the associations to have deeds, covenants, contracts, policies or standards etc., which expressly prohibit, or unreasonably restrict or increase the costs to install or use an electric vehicle charging station.
State Representative Randy Fine & Larry Chanin, President of Florida Tesla Enthusiasts
For the last few months I have been in contact with State Representative Randy Fine. He is a Tesla owner and has personally experienced the problems of installing home charging at a condo that he was living in. He agreed to work with us to pass this type of legislation provided germane pending legislation could be found in which to a sponsor an amendment.
In January I drove to Tallahassee to present this issue to members of Drive Electric Florida (DEF). Our club is a voting member in DEF. DEF is a coalition of electric vehicle (EV) stakeholder groups representing automakers, utilities, charging infrastructure providers, environmentalists, local government, universities, Clean Cities coalitions and EV enthusiast groups. It seeks to advance the energy, economic and environmental security of the state of Florida by promoting the growth of electric vehicle ownership and accompanying infrastructure.
This is a very influential group of EV stakeholders and this particular meeting focused on legislative issues which effect EVs. The DEF member companies sent their respective governmental affairs representatives to attend the session.
I invited Rep Fine to attend and he provided short, but very meaningful remarks advocating his support of this issue. (Other legislators; State Senator Jeff Brandes and Rep Jason Fisher, were also in attendance, to address other pending EV-related legislation they are sponsoring.)
During our celebration of the opening of the West Melbourne Superchargers, Representative Fine also discussed the Multi-Unit Dwelling charging issue. If you have a Facebook account you can view his remarks here. His remarks start at about 6 minutes 30 seconds into the video. (The video was provided by the Space Coast EV Drivers club.)
Our club has been working on this issue, on and off, for quite some time. Unfortunately, there has not been much in the way of progress to report, up until now. I am happy to report that we found the appropriate, germane pending legislation upon which to add an amendment. Representative Fine added language to House Bill 841, Community Associations, to address this issue, and on March 9th the bill passed, as amended, in both the House and Senate.
As with anything in life, this amendment it is not perfect, but we now finally have a basis to pursue the installation of electric vehicle charging equipment in condominiums without arbitrary or unreasonable restrictions.
I want to recognize the work done by both Representative Fine and Tesla's Policy and Business Development team working in Tallahassee to provide relief in this important area.
In Florida 30% of the residents live in multi-unit dwellings, and in some cities of high electric vehicle adoption the rate can be close to 60%. As electric vehicles now begin to enter the mass market, this legislation will prove to be essential in maintaining the high rate of EV adoption in the state of Florida, along with the environmental and economic benefits associated with them.
Update as of March 21, 2018:
The bill has been signed by the legislative Officers and has been forwarded to the Governor for signature. He has until Thursday, April 5 to act on the bill.
Update as of March 23, 2018:
The Governor signed the bill into law!
Update as of May 12, 2018:
The law goes into effect July 1, 2018. It currently only applies to installing an electric charging station within the boundaries of the unit owner’s limited common element parking area. The association must provide an easement across the common elements of the condominium property in support of such an installation.