On June 15, 2017, the Florida HOA/COA Estoppel Certificate Reform bill – SB 398, was signed into law. The new law provides both the buyer and the seller with accurate information regarding any assessments, violations, or outstanding fees on the subject property. The new law will go into effect on July 1, 2017.
An HOA Estoppel Certificate or Estoppel Letter is required for each real estate closing which involves a property that is a member of a Homeowners Association or HOA/COA.
Prominent Features of the New Law
The HOA must designate on their website a person/entity for contact and include a street or email address for receipt of a written Estoppel request. It further provides for a cap on fees the association can charge for the Estoppel Certificate, as well as a standardized form of the estoppel certificate.
Specific revisions to the Fees allowed include:
- The fee cap for owners that are current on their assessments is $250
- If the owner is delinquent on assessments, an additional charge of up to $150 can be charged
- If a Rush is required, a charge of up to $100 can be added for delivery within three (3) days
The provisions of the new law, HB 483 / SB 398, include specifications that require an Estoppel Certificate be provided in 10 days and be valid for a minimum of 30 days. If a title agent has prepaid for the estoppel fee and the closing does not occur, the association must refund the fee to the title agent upon written request within 30 days of the scheduled closing date and include reasonable proof that the closing did not occur. The association must reimburse the agent within 30 days after receipt of the refund request.
These new features will hopefully provide faster response times, increased transparency, and a more affordable fee structure.
For more detailed information about the HOA/COA Estoppel Certificate Reform Legislation, please visit: