The New Estoppel Law
Estoppel is the legal principle that prevents an individual from making assertions that are contradictory to their previous statements before the court or are contradictory to what has legally been established as the truth. Estoppel can operate by way of stopping someone from making a certain assertion in court, exercising a certain right, or from bringing a particular claim. In spring of 2017, two new bills related to estoppels in the context of homeowners associations cleared both Florida legislative chambers and have been in effect since July 1st, 2017. These bills are Senate Bill 398 and House Bill 483.
The following bullets explain the most noteworthy components of the legislation and the changes that these bills have made:
- Associations have 10 days to produce an Estoppel certificate
- Estoppel certificates must be valid for at least 30 days
- Estoppel certificate fees cannot exceed $250 and rush fees cannot exceed $100
- No fees may be charged for amending Estoppel certificates
- Clarifies what must be included in an Estoppel certificate (more information must now be provided to the purchaser by the association)
- Associations may still charge fees, but may be required to reimburse them if the property is not sold
These new bills are beneficial to title agents, buyers, sellers, closing agents and realtors by keeping costs lower and making the overall estoppel process move more quickly. Bach & Jacobs, P.A. provides title insurance of closing services for real estate transactions and can assist you if you purchase or sell real estate that is part of a homeowners or a condo association.