Published September 2022
Florida Community Association Professionals’ (FCAP) training is offered on two levels. Level one consists of courses meeting Florida’s continuing education requirements for CAMs, and level two is the Florida Advanced CAM Studies (FACS) course. For further information about the more than 38 online continuing education classes available or to pursue the Certified Florida Community Association Manager (CFCAM) designation, please visit www.fcapgroup.com/membership/education-training/.
Editor’s Note: This is the final part of a three-part series. Parts one and two were published in the July and August issues of FLCAJ and can be read in those issues or by visiting www.fcapgroup.com.
Level 1 charger
Watts are the unit of measure for power consumption while the product is in use.
Level 2 charger
Level 3 charger—Fast Charge
Overall, there are many people moving to South Florida. Danny Kaddoch with Hypower Inc. says that a building’s biggest mistake is allowing a unit owner to install a Level 2 charger in their parking space; essentially, the association will be out of power capabilities if they continue to allow others to install them using the building’s power. It will cost the building $200–$400 a year per charger.
Do not put 220V outlets in everybody’s parking spots. Kaddoch advises that a Level 1 receptacle is best.
Get your board all on the same playing field. Kaddoch also advises to get four to six Level 2 chargers for everyone to share in a common area.
If you install chargers in everyone’s spots, it will cost $800 per spot for the submeter, and you would need to get a maintenance person to read every meter. That in itself would be a full-time job, and this method would be considered as dumping money! It is pointless. You would need submeters to break out each resident. Kaddoch met with a board that wanted over 300 units’ spaces to have chargers. He explained that they are going to burn so much money, and it is a knee-jerk reaction, not a solution!
Do I need to contact my association attorney and insurance agent prior to installing EV chargers?
It is always wise to have your attorney review the association’s documents referencing the “common area” installations for “communal” use vs. “limited common areas” designation of the parking space. Determine if a vote is needed and how the association will handle sharing of the costs when others own gas-powered vehicles. You may want to address absentee owners’ availability if the vehicle is left in their absence. Are there any legal liabilities? It is also wise to check with the association’s insurance agent to determine any liability, policy changes, and costs.
How many chargers would be best to start off with?
One to four chargers are the best to consider, depending on your needs. This way you can evaluate the need for EV chargers as well as how you like the charger and service.
What are the best suitable locations for the chargers?
Choose communal spots that everyone can use that are closest to the electrical room. The shortest distance to the electrical room where the power will be taken, with the least obstacles, would provide you the most cost-efficient solution.
What information will the city be looking for on the permit application that is required?
The application will include load calculations for the panel that will be providing power to the units. The city will want to make sure you aren’t overloading the panel to install these chargers. Location of the charger is also something they will be asking about to make sure they aren’t creating a hazardous parking environment.
What issues do buildings run into when providing a charging station for every unit owner?
Power! Most buildings do not have enough power to accommodate a Level 2 charger for each unit owner; however, many buildings have enough power to provide a level 1 charger outlet.
What are the different types of chargers that are available?
Level 1 and Level 2 are most common for general use. Brands are like with any other product; there are all kinds, and you must choose the right one for you.
How do you decide whether to put common shared EV chargers on your property or not?
It all depends on your board and your needs; we always suggest starting off with one or two chargers that are communal to see how people like it and to help demonstrate that it brings revenue into the building.
How do you determine your building’s electrical capacity?
Hopefully, you have the building as-builts drawings to check out the load calculations (panel schedules) to see what kind of power you have available. If you don’t, it isn’t too much of a problem as you can always install a logging meter for 30 days to see what the power consumption is.
How do you determine if your parking garage can handle the installation?
One of the most important factors determining the chosen plan is the building’s electrical infrastructure. Older buildings are less likely than newer ones to have free power to be tapped into.
In some scenarios, it will be cost prohibitive to install the electrical infrastructure to suit 100 percent of all residential parking spaces in a condominium building. The long-term answer in those cases will likely be to invest in a few spaces and require EV-driving residents to fulfill the balance of their needs at the growing fast-charging public network as we currently do with gas stations. With vehicle charging speeds and range of charge increasing, making an occasional stop at the nearby fast-charging site to recharge can be part of the weekly routine.
The life-safety system may also be affected by the sprinkler locations in the garage, etc. If the panel has the capability, it may require further relocations or additional sprinklers may be required at the main location of the EV charging stations. Determine if the garage elevation is too low or below sea level. These questions need to be addressed by a life safety engineer.
How do you track and charge for electricity usage?
Going with an app-based charger will automatically do this for you; if you are going to install Level 1 charger outlets, then a submeter will suffice, but you would need to record the data monthly to charge the user accordingly.
Residents of condominiums may encounter unique challenges. Plug-in vehicle buyers who live in condominiums can face several roadblocks to gaining access to charging.
There are numerous stakeholders involved, potential challenges, and often unique parking configurations. Since more than 40 percent of Southeast Florida’s dwellings are multi-unit dwellings with particularly high concentrations in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, it is an important challenge to address.
It may require facilitating potential changes to assigned parking for lower cost installations, reassigning non-deeded parking spaces, and placing EV charging as close as possible to the electrical panel to avoid prohibitively expensive installations.
In addition, consideration must be made for accessibility of EV charging for disabled visitors and residents.
Once you come to terms with the challenges that you might be faced with for your condominium, here are some steps to consider before and after you put your plan into action.
EV charging stations have become an important amenity as sales of these vehicles have increased and condominium dwellers are seeking to live in buildings that can accommodate them.
Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Florida would expect to receive $198 million over five years to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state. Florida will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.
Marcy Kravit has 20-plus years’ experience managing community associations in South Florida. She has established a reputation as being passionate about service, driven by challenges, and undeterred by obstacles. Marcy is committed to providing five-star service and educating others in raising the level of professionalism in the industry. She works for Hotwire as director of community association relations. Marcy has earned every higher education credential offered by CAI and is recognized by Florida Community Association Professionals (FCAP) as a CFCAM. Marcy is a contributing writer to the Florida Community Association Journal (FLCAJ) and serves FCAP as their education program director.
We installed gates for our condominium association. There is an entry gate and an exit gate that operate independently of each other. The total cost was around $22,000. My question is, do we have to list this on the reserve schedule? The cost to replace one gate is under $5,000.
Because the replacement cost is less than $10,000, it is likely you do not have to reserve money for the new gates, but I would check with your CPA.
I took your class several years ago and now live in an association. I was out walking and noticed all five board members together at one board member’s house. I knocked on the door, and they said they were just getting together to socialize, not have a meeting. I said, if there are three board members together that it is considered a meeting. They slammed the door in my face. What should I do?
There is not anything in the statutes prohibiting board members from getting together socially or talking on the telephone or texting. The statute specifically permits them to communicate via email but prohibits them from voting by email. I usually warn board members that if they are together socially, they should not let their conversation drift to association topics.
There would be circumstances when board members are all together on association business and it is not a board meeting, such as getting together to inspect a violation, to view a maintenance concern, or to ensure completion of a project.
It seems the intent of the legislature was that boards of directors could not make or vote on business decisions outside a properly noticed meeting with a posted agenda. Obviously, there are board members who do violate this restriction.
If your community is an HOA, consult your attorney. If your community is a condominium or cooperative, you may file a complaint against the board with the Division of Condominiums at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/lsc/documents/cccomplaint.pdf.
An opposite point could be argued that if there was no meeting notice or agenda or minutes, there was no meeting.
Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel, CAM Matters™ at www.youtube.com/c/cammatters. There are several shows on meetings.
I have been examining as best I could the results of some of the latest legislative session. It appears condominiums and cooperatives will be required to have reserves as of 2024. Is this your understanding as well? I am urging the board to get a reserve study done now and not procrastinate on this matter.
I have reached out to Anastasia/Expert Reserve Services to get further information. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated.
Condominiums and cooperatives have always been required to have reserves, but the statute also allowed the owners (not board) to vote to waive or reduce the funding. With the new legislation, the ability to waive or reduce the reserve funding has been removed as of December 2024. This new law will certainly go through several revisions before the deadline. Otherwise, if left as it is currently written, this new law will double or triple the monthly assessments, making any three-story-plus community unaffordable for middle-class Floridians.
Another thought—a reserve study is always a good best business practice, and having one will likely stay in the law as a requirement. I would highly encourage you to do so. Anastasia is the best!
Our community is new, with houses being built after review by the ARC and approval of the board. We have some pesky neighbors who believe they are entitled to see the detailed interior plans of the new builds. I could understand their request if they wanted to see the plans for common area buildings, but not the inside plans of individual homes. Are there any regulations requiring us to give access to the detailed interior plans?
Assuming that your ARC has an application for owners to complete and the ARC has written specs/guidelines/procedures for new builds or modifications and the ARC is only responsible for reviewing the exterior components of the house—elevation, roof pitch, overhang, materials, color, and placement on the lot—there is no reason for the ARC to have any plans/specs for the interior of the houses or interior modifications. In that case, the ARC would not have any details of the inside of the house, only the outside.
However, if the ARC has gathered more information than they need (which they should stop receiving), the statute reads that any written information is an official record. This means if the ARC has details of the interior designs, they could be subject to an owner’s request to access records.
Access does not mean you have to email the information to the inquirer. It means the inquirer has “access” to those records at a date, time, and place specified by the keeper of the records within 10 business days of a written request. The inquirer may make copies with his own portable device or pay for copies.