State Legislative Session Begins January 9

The Florida State Legislature will convene for their 60-day session on January 9, with adjournment on March 8. A number of bills have already been introduced that deal with associations.  The legislative tracking chart shows this information:   bill topic, bill number (with link), description, sponsor (link), text of bill (link), status, and our position (support, oppose, no position).

The first two bills – SB278 and HB979, would prohibit associations from charging for estoppel certificates – making them free to owners.  This bill will fully shift the financial responsibility for the estoppel from the buyer or seller right on over to the association. “The issuer of the estoppel could end being financially responsible for the shortage, and they could be subject to, among others, Federal Fair Debt Collection Practice Act claims due to a mistake,” stated attorney Jeffrey Rembaum (Kaye Bender Rembaum).  Rembaum concludes, “This legislation will fully shift the responsibility for the estoppel fees, from that of the requesting party, to all the owners that already live in the association’s community and who have nothing to do with the transaction at all.”

There is already a cap on how much associations can charge for estoppel letters.  If enacted, this would flood the association offices with requests (anything free is always in demand) and then the association would have to absorb the full costs or pay someone else (perhaps a management company or lawyer) to generate the letters.  I could see a unit up for sale and there could be many requests for estoppel letters – all adding costs to the associations.

We need to let all state legislators know we are opposed to these two bills:  SB278 (contact senators) and HB979 (contact representatives).

Click here for the state legislative chart dated 1/01/2024