55 And Older Restrictions

In Florida there are many Condominium and Homeowners Associations where the residents desire to live in a community that only allows older people to live there.   The Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA) amends Section 807(b)(2)(C) of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. 3607(b)(2)(C)) and allows a condo association or HOA to put a restriction on the age of their residents, to 55 and over.

The HOPA allows condos and HOAs to market themselves as 55 plus or age-restricted communities, however there is a requirement that they must maintain 80 percent of their occupied units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older. As long as an association meets that 80 percent threshold, they may keep the 55 and older age restriction in place. Associations that wish to put this restriction in place are required to publish and follow policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to be a community for persons 55 and older.

With the requirements by the Federal HOPA being that at least 80 percent of all residents be over 55, that allows for up to 20 percent of the residents of the condo association or HOA to be under the 55 years of age restrictions.  That is where the association documents come into play.  An association can limit all people under 55 or can put in provisions in their documents that allow for such things as only allowing people over 21 to reside in the community or giving the Board the ability to allow for exceptions to the 55 and over requirement.  Such exceptions can be allowing the rental of units to people under the 55 threshold or allowing grandchildren to stay with their grandparents.  The documents can dictate restrictions for not only full-time residents but also visitors and guests.

Please keep in mind that the Federal and association restrictions are restrictions on residency, not ownership of the units.  If you have any questions on this feel free to contact The Richards Law Group, PLLC and discuss what can be done for your association.

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