Information on Estoppel Letters/Certificates
Property owners who live within a community association must contact the association to get an estoppel letter when they sell their home or condominium unit. Both the Florida Condominium Act and laws regarding Homeowners Associations specifically address estoppel letters/certificates.
An estoppel letter/certificate is used to facilitate a closing by providing a snapshot of the fees or assessments that a seller may owe to their association. In Florida, purchasers are jointly and severally liable with the previous owner for dues and assessments owed to the association. Therefore, when someone buys a property located within a condominium or homeowner’s association, they need to know what is owed so that amount may be collected from the seller and applied at closing. In most instances, the seller is current in their community association dues and assessments.
In 2017, Senate Bill 398 amended Florida Statutes to place a cap on the maximum amount that a community association or community association management company may charge for the preparation and delivery of an estoppel certificate. The maximum fee structure is now as follows:
- For non-delinquent accounts, the association may charge no more than $299.
- For delinquent accounts, the association may charge up to an additional fee of $179.
- If the estoppel certificate is requested on an expedited basis, the association may charge an additional fee of $119.
An estoppel certificate must also be provided in a uniform-statewide format to ensure that buyers and sellers receive the appropriate information needed to close the real estate transaction.
Estoppel certificates are effective for 30-days from the date of delivery, if delivered electronically. Estoppel certificates are effective or 35 days, if delivered by mail.
Any violation of the new fee caps or form requirements should be submitted to the Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes. The forms are accessible in both English and Spanish.
The estoppel certificate must contain all of the following information and must be substantially in the following form:
- 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. Fee for the preparation and delivery of the estoppel certificate
- Name of the requestor
- Assessment information and other information:
- a. The regular periodic assessment levied against the unit is $.... per ...(insert frequency of payment)
- b. The regular periodic assessment is paid through ...(insert date paid through)
- c. The next installment of the regular periodic assessment is due ...(insert due date)... in the amount of $.
- d. 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.
- e. 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.
- f. 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.
- g. Is there any open violation of rule or regulation noticed to the unit owner in the association official records?
- h. 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)
- i. Provide a list of, and contact information for, all other associations of which the unit is a member.
- j. Provide contact information for all insurance maintained by the association.
You may mail the complaint forms to the following address:
Division of Florida Condominiums, Timeshares and Mobile Homes 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1030
Complaints against Community Association Managers and Firms can be submitted here.