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This portal is designed for use by Closing Attorneys, Realtors, Banks, Title Companies and Lenders to obtain closing documents and estoppels from our managed communities.

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First for clarification, Chapter 720 (HOA) refers to this letter as an “estoppel certificate.” Chapter 718 (Condo) simply says “certificate.” Often you’ll hear it called an “estoppel letter.” For all practical purposes each is the same thing. We call it an estoppel letter.  The vast majority time it’s used to facilitate a closing on a unit or to pay off a debt on the parcel. In Florida associations, unit or parcel owners are jointly and severally liable with the previous owner for debts on the property. Therefore, when somebody buys an association property they need to know how much is owed at a given time so that amount be collected and applied at closing. An estoppel letter is a certificate, signed by either and officer or authorized agent of the association that says what amount is owed through a given date a few weeks or a month in the future. The parties who requested the estoppel can the rely on that letter to know how much is owed through the date stated on the letter.

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Why is it called an “estoppel letter”?digital-doc-sec

Estoppel is rarely used term unless you’re in the legal field. The legal definition is “a bar or impediment (obstruction) which precludes a person from asserting a fact or a right or prevents one from denying a fact.” What does that mean? Simply it means you said something, or took some action, that now you cannot take back. So an estoppel letter is a promise that if an amount is paid by the date specified you cannot change your mind take that back later on.

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Why is the homeowner charged for an estoppel?

It is common and appropriate to charge an up-front the fee for preparation of the Estoppel. This is done to minimize the costs to associations and charge the sole beneficiary of the service , as it is common for title agents to request numerous Estoppels on a lot or unit without ever paying the assessments  and other amounts actually due.  The fee is charged to offset the liability of the document certification, the transfer of ownership and time involved in the document preparations.

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