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“Estoppel” Fee Explained

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Q: I recently contacted my condominium association to get an account status for refinancing my mortgage. I was charged $299.00, which seems like a lot. Is this a valid charge? (J.R., via e-mail)

A: The Condominium Act, the Cooperative Act, and the Homeowners’ Association Act, all regulate the amount the associations can charge for “estoppel certificates.” Estoppel certificates are used in sales and refinances primarily for title insurance purposes, and to make sure accrued assessments are correctly allocated between a buyer and seller.

In 2017, the Florida Legislature revised the statutes to state that an association may not charge more than $250.00 for an estoppel certificate if the unit is not delinquent and the estoppel certificate is not requested on expedited basis. If the estoppel certificate is requested on an expedited basis, the statute states that the association can charge an additional $100.00. Further, if the account is delinquent, the association can charge an additional $150.00.

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