Prior to closing on a property, a bank or lender is required to receive an estoppel letter from a Homeowners’ Association (HOA) or HOA management company in Tampa to determine if there are delinquent balances owed to the association. This includes, legal fees, recurring payments, violations, and special assessments. Both the buyer and seller are jointly responsible for the default fees, and payments incurred before a lease transfer is added to a buyer’s closing cost.
As defined by Florida Statute 720.30851, once a request for an estoppel letter has been made, the HOA must deliver the document to the requested party within 15 days. A preparation fee may be charged, but the cost must be clearly identified on the document. Once delivered, the balance on the document is legally binding and additional fees may not be added to the balance. It is important to note, should a closing not occur, the HOA is legally required to refund the estoppel letter preparation fee within 30 days.
While Florida Statute does not currently define what should and should not be included in the estoppel letter, we have provided a list of recommendations from our over 30 years as a leading Tampa HOA management company.
INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN AN ESTOPPEL LETTER
1. Name and contact information for the Homeowners’ Association
2. Name and contact information for the property owner
3. The address and property description
4. The total amount of all fees owed to the association (while the total sum is sufficient, if requested, an itemized list of assessments and late fees is recommended)
5. The date for which the balance will remain unchanged or if requested what is owed through the date of closing
6. Payment instructions
7. Authorized signature from an HOA board member
The purpose of the estoppel letter is to inform the buyer of delinquent fees on a property before closing, but the process is equally as important for the HOA. If calculated incorrectly, years of delinquent fees could be lost. If you are still unclear on how to go about preparing an estoppel letter, we recommend consulting with a knowledgeable HOA management company in Tampa.
For more information, please give us a call today at (813) 968-5665 or request a proposal.