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Estoppel Bill Approved by Governor and Remaining Community Association Bills Presented to the Governor

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Yesterday, the Governor approved SB 398, Relating to Estoppel Certificates.  The effective date of the new law is July 1, 2017.  If you would like to hear more about the estoppel bill, please watch the video or read the summary below.

Also yesterday, HB 653, Relating to Community Associations, by Rep. Moraitis, and HB 1237, Relating to Condominiums, by Rep. Diaz, and HB 6027, Relating to Financial Reporting, by Rep. Williamson, were presented to Governor Rick Scott for consideration.  The Governor has until June 29, 2017 to act.  The Governor can either sign a bill into law, veto a bill, or allow a bill to become law without his signature.  If approved by the Governor, the bills have an effective date of July 1, 2017, except the provisions which require associations with more than 150 units to have a website for posting official records is not effective until July 1, 2018.

For a summary of HB 653, please see my previous post here.

For a summary of HB 1237, please see my previous post here.  

§718.116, 719.108, and 720.30851, Florida Statutes

  • Revises the period in which an association must respond to a request for an estoppel certificate from 15 days to 10 business days.
  • Requires an association to designate on its website a person or entity with a street or e-mail address for receipt of a request for an estoppel certificate.
  • The estoppel certificate must be provided by hand delivery, regular mail, or email to the requestor on the date of issuance of the estoppel certificate.
  • An estoppel certificate may be completed by any board member, authorized agent, or authorized representative of the association, including any authorized agent, authorized representative, or employee of a management company authorized to complete this form on behalf of the board or association.
  • The estoppel certificate must contain all of the following information:
    • Date of issuance
    • Name(s) of the unit owner(s) as reflected in the books and records of the association
    • Unit designation and address
    • Parking or garage space number, as reflected in the books and records of the association
    • Attorney’s name and contact information if the account is delinquent and has been turned over to an attorney for collection. No fee may be charged for this information.
    • Fee for the preparation and delivery of the estoppel certificate
    • Name of the requestor
  • The estoppel certificate must also contain the following “Assessment Information”:
    • The regular periodic assessment levied against the unit is $____ per ____ (insert frequency of payment)
    • The regular periodic assessment is paid through ______ (insert date paid through)
    • The next installment of the regular periodic assessment is due ____ (insert due date) in the amount of $____
    • An itemized list of all assessments, special assessments, and other moneys owed on the date of issuance to the association by the unit owner for a specific unit is 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 is provided. In calculating the amounts that are scheduled to become due, the association may assume that any delinquent amounts will remain delinquent during the effective period of the estoppel certificate.
  • The estoppel certificate must also contain the following “Other Information”:
    • Is there a capital contribution fee, resale fee, transfer fee, or other fee due? __ (Yes) ___ (No)…. If yes, specify the type and the amount of the fee.
    • Is there any open violation of rule or regulation noticed to the unit owner in the association official records? ___ (Yes) ___ (No)
    • Do the rules and regulations of the association applicable to the unit require approval by the board of directors of the association for the transfer of the unit? ___ (Yes) ___ (No)…. If yes, has the board approved the transfer of the unit? ____ (Yes) ____(No)
    • Is there a right of first refusal provided to the members or the association? ____ (Yes) ____(No)…. If yes, have the members or the association exercised that right of first refusal? ____(Yes) ____(No)
    • Provide a list of, and contact information for, all other associations of which the unit is a member.
    • Provide contact information for all insurance maintained by the association.
    • Provide the signature of an officer or authorized agent of the association.
  • The association, at its option, may include additional information in the estoppel certificate.
  • An estoppel certificate that is hand delivered or sent by electronic means has a 30-day effective period. An estoppel certificate that is sent by regular mail has a 35-day effective period.
  • If additional information or a mistake related to the estoppel certificate becomes known to the association within the effective period, an amended estoppel certificate may be delivered and becomes effective if a sale or refinancing of the unit has not been completed during the effective period. A fee may not be charged for an amended estoppel certificate. An amended estoppel certificate must be delivered on the date of issuance, and a new 30-day or 35-day effective period begins on such date.
  • An association waives the right to collect any moneys owed in excess of the amounts set forth in the estoppel certificate from any person, and his or her successors and assigns, who in good faith relies upon the certificate.
  • Prohibits an association from charging a fee for preparing and delivering an estoppel certificate that is requested, if it is not delivered within 10 business days.
  • Authorizes the use of a summary proceeding pursuant to s. 51.011, F.S., to compel compliance with the estoppel certificate requirements. (Added to Cooperative Act—already the law for Condominiums and HOAs)
  • Authorizes an association to charge a fee for preparing and delivering an estoppel certificate but the authorization must be established be a written resolution adopted by either the board or a written management, bookkeeping, or maintenance contract. (Added to Cooperative Act—already the law for Condominiums and HOAs)
  • The maximum amount of the estoppel certificate fee is as follows:
    • $250 if there are no delinquent amounts owed to the association.
    • An additional $100 fee for an expedited estoppel certificate delivered within 3 business days after a request for an expedited certificate.
    • An additional maximum fee of $150, if there is a delinquent amount owed to the association.
  • The maximum fee an association may charge when it receives simultaneous requests for estoppel certificates for multiple units or parcels owned by the same person and there are no past due monetary obligations owed to the association is as follows:
    • For 25 or fewer units, $750.
    • For 26 to 50 units, $1,000.
    • For 51 to 100 units, $1,500.
    • For more than 100 units, $2,500.
  • A person who pays for the preparation of an estoppel certificate may request a refund if the certificate is requested in conjunction with the sale or mortgage of a unit but the closing does not occur. The request for the refund must be in writing and must occur no later than 30 days after the closing date.  The refund must be provided within 30 days after receipt of a written request.
  • The right to a refund if the closing does not occur may not be waived or modified by any contract or agreement.
  • The prevailing party in a suit to enforce a right of reimbursement shall be awarded damages, attorney fees, and costs.
  • The fees specified shall be adjusted every 5 years based on increases in the Consumer Price Index. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation shall periodically calculate the fees, rounded to the nearest dollar, and publish the adjusted amounts on its website.

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