“Florida Realtors scored a big legislative victory today following the passage of a bill that caps estoppel certificate fees, among other changes.”
This is on the Florida Realtors’ website.
It says that “”After several years of educating legislators and building support in both legislative chambers on the issue of estoppel certificate fees, we brought home a huge victory for home sellers.”
This is about the Bill HB 483/SB 398, which is now waiting for the Governor’s signature. The Bill is supposed to curb the fees charged for Estoppel Certificate. It’s a victory for Florida Realtors, who have been pushing for the cap for years. So, now the cap is at $250 for issuing an Estoppel Certificate. But it is only if the Seller is not delinquent. If there is delinquency, then the management can charge another $150. So, now it is $400. And if you want it fast (3 days), then they can charge yet another $100 for expediting.
I am confused here. Why delinquency allows management to charge more? It is not that they need to go and search for the beginning of delinquency and actually do more work as they keep track and they have the balance. So, if someone was not paying the fees for a year, they do not need to go and calculate it month after month… At least assuming it is weird.
Now they will have 10 business days to deliver the Estoppel Certificate. If they delayed, no fee can be charged. This is good. We habitually deal with management companies, that require 14 business days. You call them and tell them that it is already 14 days, and they say “Oops” and in 15 minutes you get it. 15 minutes for $500? Not bad at all… Actually, $250 for 15 min. is not bad at all. Want to figure profit margin on Estoppel Certificates?
To tell you the truth, I do not understand why management companies are even allowed to charge for issuing Estoppel Certificates. Isn’t it in in the interests of the Association to make sure that all unpaid dues are paid at closing? Shouldn’t it be part of their job?
Of course, it is great that nobody now would be able to charge $1,000 and I even heard of $1,600. Of course, $500 is better compared to it, but is it really justification for charging even $500? It is a lot of money. I am time from time dealing with condo-hotels for $30K-$50K, and on $30K property $500 is a lot of money. Ridiculously a lot…
I am curious, was anyone objecting to these numbers? Why the legislature so willing to allow to charge so much? As if there are no other fees…
If this was a result of multi-year effort by Florida Realtors, can you really call it a victory?
Image by Mark Goebel via FLickr.com/creativecommons