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Community Association 2017 Legislative Guide: Part I

The Florida legislature passed several community association related bills this legislative session that are set to become law on July 1, 2017, unless vetoed by Florida’s Governor Scott.  This is the first of a three-part series summarizing those bills.

Senate Bill 398 – F.S. 718.116, 719.108 and 720.30851

SB 398 significantly changes the association estoppel process. The changes are important to understand, especially if various sources are required to assemble the information. The information is listed below:

Timeframes, Fees & Requirements

  • Association must respond within 10 days of receiving written request
  • Association waives to right to charge estoppel fee if estoppel not provided within 10 days
  • Estoppels must be effective for 30 days, or 35 days if mailed
  • Estoppels may be amended, without additional fee, during effective period if closing has not occurred.  The 30-day effective period starts upon delivery of amended estoppel
  • Amounts not listed in estoppel are waived
  • Estoppel fees may not exceed $250.00 if owner current; Estoppel fees may not exceed $400.00 if owner is delinquent; a $100.00 rush fee may be charged if a rush is requested and estoppel is delivered within 3 business days of estoppel request
  • Limitations on fees for estoppels on multiple units
  • Authority to charge estoppel fees must be authorized by written resolution or management agreement
  • If the transaction does not close the association must return the estoppel fee and charge same to owner ledger
  • Association must designate someone on their website for receipt of estoppel requests

General Information

  • Date estoppel is issued
  • Owner name
  • Property address
  • Designation of assigned parking or garage space, if any
  • Attorney contact information if the account is in collection
  • The amount of the estoppel fee
  • Name of person requesting estoppel

Assessment Information

  • Regular periodic assessments, including frequency of payment
  • Assessment through date
  • Date through which payments have been received
  • The date due and amount of the next assessment
  • Itemization of any amounts currently due
  • Itemization of amounts coming due during pendency of estoppel

Other Information

  • Capital contribution/Transfer fees
  • Open covenant violations
  • Whether Association has right to approve sale and buyer has been approved
  • Whether the association has a right of first refusal
  • A list of and contact information for any other associations governing the property
  • Contact information for Association insurance
  • Signed by authorized agent

As is clear from the above, there are numerous additional requirements and restrictions in responding to estoppel requests.  Since the penalties for failing to timely and properly respond are severe, community associations and management companies alike will need to consult with counsel to ensure they implement the necessary forms and procedures.  Our next article will summarize the much discussed House Bill 1237, which imposes new criminal penalties on condominium board members.

Posted in Community Association
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