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BILL: CS/CS/SB’s 2086 & 2498

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preparation of the certificate. If the certificate is requested along with the sale or mortgage of the unit but the closing does not take place, and no later than 30 days after the closing date for which the certificate was sought the preparer receives a written request, accompanied by reasonable documentation, that the sale did not occur from a payer that is not the unit owner, the fee shall be refunded to that payer within 30 days after receipt of the request. The refund is the obligation of the unit owner and must be collected in the same manner as an assessment provided by s. 718.116, F.S.

Termination of Condominiums The bill amends s. 718.117, F.S., to provide that the distribution of any sale proceeds to purchase-money lienholders on units must not exceed a unit’s share of the proceeds.

Estoppel Certificates for Homeowners' Associations The bill creates s. 720.3087, F.S., to provide for estoppel certificates for homeowners’ associations. Section 718.116(8), F.S., provides for estoppel certificates for condominiums. The bill requires that the homeowners’ associations must provide a certificate signed by an officer or agent of the association stating all of the assessments and other moneys that are owed to the association by the parcel owner. The association must provide the certificate within 15 days after receiving a written request from a parcel owner or a parcel mortgagee or the parcel mortgagee’s designee. The bill provides that any person other than the parcel owner who relies upon the certificate shall be protected.

The bill provides that a summary proceeding pursuant to s. 51.011, F.S.,31 may be brought to compel compliance with this requirement. The bill provides that the prevailing party in such an action is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees. It requires that association’s the authority to charge a fee for the estoppel certificate must be established by written resolution adopted by the board in advance of the charge or provided by written management, bookkeeping, or maintenance contract.

The bill provides that the fee be payable upon preparation of the certificate and that, if the certificate is requested in conjunction with the sale or mortgage of the parcel and the closing does not occur, the fee must be refunded upon written notice from the person requesting the certificate that the sale did not occur. This bill also provides that the refund is an obligation of the parcel owner and must be collectable as an assessment.

Deregulation of Land Sales The bill repeals most provisions of ch. 498, F.S., and renumbers others to de-regulate the sale of subdivided land by the Division of Land Sales, Condominiums, and Mobile Homes. It also

31 Section 51.011, F.S., specifies a summary procedure for actions that specifically provide for this procedure by statute or rule. Under the summary procedure, all defenses of law or fact are required to be contained in the defendant's answer which must be filed within five days after service of process of the plaintiff’s complaint. If the answer incorporates a counterclaim, plaintiff must include all defenses of law or fact in his or her answer to the counterclaim and shall serve it within five days after service of the counterclaim. (Rule 1.140, Fla. R. Civ. Pro, requires an answer, including any counterclaims, within 20 days after service of the complaint.) No other pleadings are permitted, and all defensive motions, including motions to quash, are heard by the court prior to trial. Postponements are not permitted for discovery, and the procedure also provides for an immediate trial, if requested.

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