New Legislation – Association Estoppel Certificates

Posted on: September 21st, 2017

By: Molly A. Maggiano, Esq.

Senate Bill 398 was signed into law by Governor Scott on June 14, 2017 as Chapter 2017-93, Laws of Florida, and amended Chapters 718, 719 and 720, Florida Statutes, to provide for very specific requirements with respect to estoppel certificates issued by associations, as well as impose limitations on the fees that may be charged by an association (or its agent) for same. The following is a summary of the major requirements and limitations. Please note that the new requirements went into effect on July 1, 2017.

Estoppel Requests and Responses to Requests

  • An association is required to designate on its website a person or entity, with a street or e-mail address, to whom estoppel requests can be sent
  • Estoppel certificates shall be provided to the requestor (by hand-delivery, regular mail, or e-mail) within 10 business days after receipt of a written or electronic request
  • Requests for certificates may be made by a unit/parcel owner, the unit/parcel owner’s designee, or a unit mortgagee or the unit mortgagee’s designee
  • Estoppel certificates may be completed by any board member, authorized agent or authorized representative of the association, including any authorized agent, representative or employee of a management company authorized by the association

Content of Estoppel Certificate

Estoppel certificates must contain the following information:

  • Date of Issuance
  • Name(s) of unit/parcel owner(s) as reflected in association records
  • Unit/parcel designation and address
  • Parking or garage space number (if any)
  • Attorney’s name and contact information if the account is delinquent and has been turned over for collection
  • Fee for the preparation and delivery of the estoppel certificate
  • Name of the requestor
  • Assessment information (specifically including the following):
    • Amount and frequency of regular periodic assessment levied against the unit/parcel
    • Date regular periodic assessment is paid through
    • Amount of next installment of the regular periodic assessment and date it is due
    • An itemized list of all assessments, special assessments, and other moneys owed on the date of issuance to the association by the unit/parcel owner for the specific unit/parcel provided
    • An itemized list of any additional assessments, special assessments and other moneys that are scheduled to become due for each day after the date of issuance for the effective period of the estoppel certificate

**in calculating amounts that are scheduled to become due, it may be assumed that any delinquent amounts will remain delinquent during the effective period of the certificate

  • Other Information (specifically to include the following):
    • Whether there is a capital contribution fee, resale fee, transfer fee or other fee due
    • Whether the records reflect any open violations noticed to the unit/parcel owner
    • Whether the rules and regulations of the association require approval by the board for transfer of the unit/parcel
    • Whether there is a right of first refusal provided to the members or the association and if such right has been exercised
    • List and contact information for all other associations of which the unit/parcel is a member
    • Contact information for all insurance maintained by the association
    • Signature of an officer or authorized agent of the association
    • Any other additional information the association wants to include

Estoppel Effective Period

  • Estoppel certificates that are hand-delivered or sent by electronic means are effective for a period of 30 days from the date issued
  • Estoppel certificates sent by regular mail are effective for 35 days from the date issued
  • If an amended estoppel certificate is issued as a result of additional information or a mistake related to the certificate that becomes known to the association within the effective period, a new 30 or 35 day effective period begins on the date the amended certificate is issued

Estoppel Preparation Fees

The association or its authorized agent may charge the following fees for preparation and delivery of an estoppel certificate requested for a single unit/parcel:

Status of Unit/Parcel Account
(as of date certificate is issued)
Delivery Time*  Maximum
Permissible Fee
Account in Good Standing
Account in Good Standing
Statutory
Expedited
$250.00
$350.00
Delinquent Account
Delinquent Account
Statutory
Expedited
$400.00
$500.00

*Statutory delivery = within 10 business days after request
*Expedited delivery = within 3 business days after request

If estoppel certificates for multiple units owned by the same owner are simultaneously requested from the same association, the statement of moneys due for the units/parcels may be delivered in one or more estoppel certificates, with the fee for each unit being calculated as above, except that the total fee that may be charged for the estoppel certificates, in the aggregate, may not exceed:

Number of Unit/Parcels
Included in Request
Maximum
Permissible Fee
25 or less units/parcels $750
26 to 50 units/parcels $1,000
51 to 100 units/parcels $1,500
More than 100 units/parcels $2,500
  • A fee may not be charged for preparation and deliver of an estoppel certificate that is not delivered within 10 business days of receipt of a request by the association
  • A fee may not be charged for issuance of an amended estoppel certificate
  • Authority to charge an estoppel fee must be established by written resolution adopted by the board or provided by a written management, bookkeeping or maintenance contract