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estoppel HOA

Understanding HOA Estoppels: A Key Factor in Home Buying

August 2, 2023 | Aliza Aviles

In general, an estoppel is a legal principle that prevents people from going back on their word and benefiting from their own inconsistencies. There are a few types of estoppels, but we will be focusing on association estoppels.


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What is an association estoppel?


An association estoppel is a legal document obtained from the homeowner’s association or condominium owner’s association that a property is apart of. It details the current status of the property, including any outstanding payments or other debts due to the association either before or at closing, and any special assessments and violations that go against the HOA’s rules and regulations.

The term “estoppel” is mostly used in the state of Florida, but every state has their own regulations for how HOA’s and management companies handle this information. The association must issue an estoppel within 10 business days upon receipt of a request for information. The fees for estoppels in Florida are as follows:


  • For non-delinquent accounts, the association may charge no more than $299.
  • If the estoppel certificate is requested on an expedited basis, the association may charge an additional fee of $119.


You may also hear one of these terms in place of “estoppel”:


  • HOA closing documents
  • HOA closing letter
  • HOA certificate
  • Condo certification
  • Current dues
  • Resale disclosure
  • Estoppel letter
  • Estoppel certificate



Our experience with estoppels:


Speaking with some of our clients, they’ve stated that obtaining HOA info can be difficult at times and it may not always be provided by the seller. And if property is bank owned, the bank doesn’t usually have the information.


Elite does not require HOA information. We will do the hard work for you in determining what HOAs the property is a part of. Over 50% of our estoppel orders do not have the HOA information provided, so we are used to working in these circumstances.


The estoppel will provide:


  • Fees and due dates
  • If the account is current or in collections
  • If there are additional associations or clubs 
  • If buyer approval is required (we will provide an application if needed)
  • If there are violations and fines on the property 
  • If there are special assessments on the property
  • If there is litigation on the property or HOA
  • If there is a capital contribution or transfer fee

And several other items!


We also collect a payoff from the attorney if a property is in collections, along with providing Community Development District (CDD) information if one is discovered on a property. 


The takeaway: 

Estoppels are a crucial part of the due diligence process for buyers and sellers. They help to ensure that everyone involved in the transaction is aware of the homeowner's obligations, and that there are no surprises down the road. If you want a smooth closing, ask yourself if outsourcing is right for you.


Interested in getting more information about estoppels?


Email us or give us a call!