Great news for condominium /homeowner association buyers, sellers, realtors and title companies. The Florida laws on Condo Estoppel turnaround times and fees has just become more consumer friendly. The Florida legislature recently enacted new laws that will provide consumers better services from Condo /HOA Association management companies. These much needed change should reduce the lengthy delays for Condo/HOA estoppel letters and outrageous fee structures recently found. This will also help in the issuance of Florida condo title insurance and expedite the closing process. Fees now range from $150-$750 and vary by community. This new law has a general cap of $250 unless a rush is ordered.
Effective July 1, 2017, Sections 720.30851, 718.116, and 719.108 Florida Statutes, regarding homeowner, condominium, and cooperative association estoppel letters, have been amended to revise requirements relating to the issuance of an estoppel letter or certificate by a homeowner, condominium, or cooperative association. (Senate Bill 398.) It is to be noted that the association may insist that the fee for an estoppel letter/certificate be paid prior to the closing of the real estate transaction. The statutory revisions do not prohibit the collection of the fee in advance of the contemplated closing.
The Prominent Provisions of the Amended Laws Are:
The association has 10 days (previously was 15 days) to issue the estoppel certificate, after receiving a written or electronic request from the owner/mortgagee or the designee therefor. (The title agency can be the designee.) If the association fails to deliver timely, then it cannot charge a fee for the estoppel certificate.
The association is to designate on its website a person/entity with a street or e-mail address, for receipt of a written estoppel request.
Estoppel certificate must be provided by hand delivery, regular mail, or e-mail to the requestor on the date of issuance of the certificate.
Estoppel certificate is be completed and signed by a board member or authorized agent of the board or the management company.
Estoppel certificate that is hand delivered or sent by electronic mail has a 30-day effective period. (35-day effective period if sent by regular mail.) The association can amend the certificate within the 30(35)-day period, and upon issuance of the amendment, a new 30(35)-day period starts.
The association may charge a fee for the estoppel certificate not to exceed $250, if, on the date of issuance, no delinquent amounts are owed for the unit/parcel.
The association may charge an additional $100 if the request is made on an expedited basis and delivered within 3 business days after the request.
The association may charge an additional $150 if a delinquent amount is owed for the unit/parcel.
If the request is for multiple units/parcels owned by the same owner and there are no past-due obligations owed to the association, the fee for the estoppel certificate is based upon the number of units/parcels and cannot exceed the following:
For 25 or fewer units/parcels, $750
For 26 to 50 units/parcels, $1,000
For 51 to 100 units/parcels, $1,500
For more than 100 units/parcels, $2,500
If the title agent prepaid the estoppel fee, and if the closing does not occur, the association is to refund the fee to the title agent upon written request made within 30 days after the planned closing date, and reasonable proof that the closing did not occur. The association has 30 days to reimburse the title agent after receipt of the refund request. The right to this reimbursement may not be waived or modified.
Information to be Included in the Estoppel Letter/Certificate:
The estoppel certificate MUST contain ALL of the following information:
- Date of issuance
- Name of unit/parcel owner(s)
- Unit/parcel designation and address
- Parking or garage space number
- Attorney’s name and contact information if account has been turned over to an attorney because of a delinquency
- The fee for preparation and delivery of the estoppel certificate
- Name of the requestor of the certificate
- Assessment information and other information, to include:
- Regular periodic assessment amount and frequency; Date for which the regular periodic assessment is paid through; Next installment date and amount; An itemized list of all assessments, special assessments and other money currently owed or to become due after the estoppel certificate;
- Other fees such as a resale fee, transfer fee, etc.
- Whether association approval of transfer of the unit/parcel is required
- List of any open rule or regulation violations
- Whether there is a right of first refusal
- Contact information for any other association (such as a master association)
- Contact information for any insurance maintained by the association.
Requesting the Condo/HOA Estoppel is part of a title company’s duty when issue Florida title insurance on a condominium and will appear on the title commitment.
Disclaimer: The Closing Company, Inc. is not a law firm and is not providing legal or tax advice in this post. For legal advice, please consult with a licensed Attorney. For tax advice, consult with a Certified Public Accountant. Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.