Can Florida condominium owners install electric vehicle charging stations?!

Protecting Florida’s environmental resources through conservation and promotion of clean energy is an absolute necessity.  Last year, Section 718.113, Florida Statutes, added a new subsection providing that a condominium association may not prohibit a unit owner from installing an electronic vehicle charging station in a limited common element parking area assigned to a unit owner.

Effective July 1, 2018, Section 718.113(8) states, in part, as follows:

(8)  The Legislature finds that the use of electric vehicles conserves and protects the state’s environmental resources, provides significant economic savings to drivers, and serves an important government interest.  The participation of condominium associations is essential to the state’s efforts to conserve and protect the state’s environmental resources and provide economic savings to drivers.  Therefore, the installation of an electric vehicle charging station shall be governed as follows:

(a)       A declaration of condominium or restrictive covenant may not prohibit or be enforced so as to prohibit any unit owner from installing an electric vehicle charging station within the boundaries of the unit owner’s limited common element parking area…

damage to the condominium property.

(c)        The electricity for the electric vehicle charging station must be separately metered and payable by the unit owner installing such charging station.

(d)       The unit owner who is installing an electric vehicle charging station is responsible for the costs of installation, operation, maintenance, and repair, including, but not limited to, hazard and liability insurance.  The association may enforce payment of such costs pursuant to s. 718.116.

(e)        If the unit owner or his or her successor decides there is no longer a need for the electric vehicle charging station, such person is responsible for the cost of removal of the electronic vehicle charging station.  The association may enforce payment of such costs pursuant to s. 718.116.

Florida Statutes requires condominium associations to permit installation of electronic vehicle charging stations in “limited common element” parking areas assigned to individual unit owners.   Condominium associations are not required to permit installation of electronic vehicle charging stations in condominium common elements or other portions of the condominium property that are maintained for the use and benefit of all unit owners.

If parking spaces are “limited common elements” within the meaning of the condominium’s governing documents, then the condominium association must permit installation of electric vehicle charging stations subject to certain conditions.  For example, the association should require the charging station to be located entirely within the boundaries of the unit owner’s limited common element parking area so that it does not interfere with any other unit owner’s use and enjoyment of the condominium common elements.  Additionally, any unit who desires to install an electric vehicle charging station must pay all costs and expenses associated with the installation, operation, and maintenance of the charging station.  Moreover, the condominium association should confirm that the unit owner operating an electric vehicle charging station to obtained adequate insurance to protect the condominium association from any liability that may arise out of, or relate to, the unit owner’s operation of the charging station.

If your condominium association includes limited common element parking areas, it should consider adopting reasonable rules and regulations governing the installation of electric vehicle charging station in parking areas.  Please contact Martell & Ozim, P.A. if your condominium association has any questions regarding electric vehicle charging stations or if you would like assistance adopting rules and regulations.

 

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