Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras sollicitudin, tellus vitae condimentum egestas, libero dolor auctor tellus, eu consectetur neque.

Press enter to begin your search

The Estoppel Bill: Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater

Senate Bill 278 (2024)

As you may know, the 2024 Legislative Session commenced last Tuesday and promises to be one of the most active in recent memory.  This alert is the first in a series of weekly updates, each focusing on a Bill that we at CALL believe deserves your close attention.  The first Bill we will focus on in this series is SB 278, also called the Estoppel Bill.

SB 278 would prevent a management company or a self-managed association from charging either a buyer or a seller for the time to prepare an estoppel certificate in advance of any real property sale. The association or its management company would still be legally obligated to prepare an estoppel certificate within the timetable and fee schedule provided by the existing statute and obtain legal advice where necessary. A management company would still be able to charge the Association for the preparation of each estoppel certificate.  However, the association would not be able to pass any such costs along to the buyer or seller, which means all association members would have to pay this cost as a common expense.

Presently, estoppel fees are capped at $299.00 for a standard estoppel certificate. Legislators who have spoken out in support of SB 278 claim exorbitant add-on charges and processing fees are being added to estoppel fees, making the estoppel more expensive than the price previously set by the legislature.  As presently drafted, SB 278 does nothing to address these add-on fees in any way. Rather than address the stated problem, SB 278 eliminates the right to charge any estoppel fee to those benefiting from the preparation of the estoppel certificate. If SB 278 passes as presently written, assessments will necessarily increase, because expenses related to estoppel preparation will become a common expense of each association.

SB 278 will be heard by the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee on Thursday, January 18, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.  If you do not want to subsidize property sales in your community, please contact your legislator and the members of the Fiscal Policy Committee.  Let them know that they can address the problem of estoppel add-on fees and processing fees without eliminating the right to charge estoppel fees to buyers and sellers.  The legislature can solve its stated problem without increasing assessments on all association members.  They don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

The members of the Fiscal Policy Committee are:

Click here to find your legislator and their contact information.

If you have questions about community association legislation, please reach out to any of our CALL team members.

Donna DiMaggio Berger

Kenneth S. Director

Steven H. Mezer

Bryony G. Swift


Contact: becker@beckerlawyers.com

We help draft legislation and work closely with legislators and members of the executive branch to improve the laws that impact community associations in Florida. We offer legal Insights, analysis and ideas for community leaders and members to better manage their associations. CALL provides educational services that promote better association management and teach members how to effectively lobby and communicate with legislators. Whether association operations, insurance, storm preparation / recovery, SBA loans, or anything else, we're equipped to help you address the important issues. We advocate on behalf of more than 4,000 community / condo / homeowners' associations, mobile home communities and cooperatives throughout the state. We make it our mission to relay the latest information, like current events, legislative initiatives and legal issues affecting common ownership communities.