22 Jun, 2022

Property managers must start planning for expensive electrical vehicle charging systems

Electric vehicle (EV) charging points in rental properties are going to be expensive and should be planned and saved for now, according to residential management experts at MetroPM.

Matthew Arnold, managing director of MetroPM, which has offices in Birmingham and Cheltenham, explained that emerging EV technology was complex and would need urgent attention.

The advice comes on the back of a new paper issued by the Institute of Residential Property Management (IRPM) entitled Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in Communal Living Environments.

Mr Arnold said: “This is an excellent paper from the IRPM and is perfectly timed to remind the sector of the need to plan properly for how EV charging will quickly become an everyday expectation of leaseholders.

“However, developing such infrastructure is going to be much more complicated than just sticking a couple of domestic fast chargers on the wall in the garage or parking area.

“For starters, it’s highly unlikely that there is anything in the vast majority of existing leases that covers EV charging.

“Such clauses would need to take note of the latest government policies and potential financial assistance, any planning and building control issues, plus the correct connections and charging agreements to electricity supplies.

“As property managers, we are already having to deal with EV chargers where requested, and even enabling a single leaseholder to install one is an involved process, so you can just imagine how complicated it will be for a site-wide installation.

“One of the challenges is that EV systems’ installation, power and maintenance costs are expensive, and this means property managers need to start planning now to make sure any charges for leaseholders and residents are fair and equitable.

“With EV technology so immediate, many property managers will be talking to their clients to plan for EV.”

The RAC has recently estimated that there are already around 460,000 EVs on the UK’s roads, with 64,000 registered so far in 2022 alone, plus over 384,000 plug-in hybrids.

These numbers are only equivalent to around 2% of cars currently on UK roads, but this is expected to surge in the next decade with the motor industry predicting that 52% of new vehicle sales will be all-electric by 2030.

Mr Arnold added: “It is almost certain that that majority of communal leasehold developments will need to install EV chargers in two phases – initially for early EV adopters and then for wider systems for most if not all residents.

“Importantly, there is no one-size fits all solution, as each residential site will have its own unique complexities and will almost certainly require a bespoke system.

“Even on small blocks of apartments, EV chargers will be a challenge as they will inevitably involve multiple parties who have cars to charge – freeholders, leaseholders themselves, plus any residents who are renting from them.”

Established in 2006, MetroPM provides day-to-day estate management services to a growing number of developers, freeholders and resident management companies nationally.

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