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55 & Over Housing: What is the 80/20 Rule?

Posted in Discrimination/Fair Housing, Housing for Older Persons (55 and Over)

55 & Older Housing  – what does that mean? The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.  Many States have their own Fair Housing Act – in Florida Chapter 760 of the Florida Statutes is dedicated to discrimination issues that expand the protection to age and marital status. The term ‘familial status’ generally refers to occupancy by children (person under 18) with parent, guardian or designee of the parent.   So why or how are there 55 & older communities?  Well, every rule has exceptions, right?  The Fair Housing Act is no different. The Housing for Older Persons Act (HOPA) is an exception that allows communities to operate as “55 or over” housing. To qualify for this exemption, the following criteria must be met: 

  1. At least 80% of the units must be occupied by at least one resident over the age of 55;
  2. The community must publish and adhere to policies and procedures demonstrating an intent by the housing provider (the association) to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older; and
  3. The housing provider must engage in appropriate age verification procedures that includes a community census from time to time.

Ok – at least one person 55 or older must reside in at least 80% of the occupied units.  What do you do with the other 20%? On April 1, 1999 the United States Department of House and Urban Development (“HUD “) published Federal Regulations implementing the Housing For Older Persons Act of 1995 (“HOPA”).  Basically, HUD does not care how a community handles the 20% “cushion” as reflected below:

There continues to be confusion concerning what is often referred to as the 80/20 split. HOPA states that the minimum standard to obtain housing for persons who are 55 years of age or older status is that “at least 80%” of the occupied units be occupied by persons 55 years or older. There is no requirement that the remaining 20% of the occupied units be occupied by persons under the age of 55, nor is there a requirement that those units be used only for persons where at least one member of the household is 55 years of age or older. Communities may decline to permit any persons under the age of 55, may require that 100% of the units have at least one occupant who is 55 years of age or older, may permit up to 20% of the occupied units to be occupied by persons who are younger than 55 years of age, or set whatever requirements they wish, as long as “at least 80%” of the occupied units are occupied by one person 55 years of age or older, and so long as such requirements are not inconsistent with the overall intent to be housing for older persons.

Does that mean a community that desires to sustain is Housing for Older Persons status should let everyone in up to the 20%?  No, not really.  The “cushion” is designed to allow the housing provider (association) to permit exceptions when appropriate.  If a couple resides in a property and one is 55 and the other not, do you, as a community leader or manager, want to be put in a position that requires you to say “you’re in violation” if the resident over 55 passes away?  What if the couple gets divorced?  What if someone resides with their adult child?  In our view, the ‘cushion’ is exactly that – something that protects you or softens the requirements to avoid unpleasant results. Does your community qualify as Housing for Older Persons?  Community leaders that aren’t sure should consult with counsel, as penalties for discrimination (even unintentional discrimination) can be harsh.  

  • Diana Palmer

    I am over my head and living on only social security. I need to know how to live with a lower rent. I am currently living on the upper east side but would move anywhere in the city for affordable rent.

  • Pat Ables

    We own a unit in a 55 plus community, st. lucie county FL Residents are being forced out because of unnecessary projects which have resulted in exhorbitant assessments — i.e. plumbing projects for entire 60-unit complex, no contract with plumber; CAM is attempting to rule everything – majority owners 70 – 90 years of age.

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  • Claire Lutzmann

    In a 55+ condo complex, can a hardship exception be granted to allow for an underage grandchild (under 18) residing with a grandparent, without affecting the 55+ status?
    RESPONSE: Most of the time, yes. However, some communirty covenants do not give the board the option of making exceptions. Exceptions may be narrowly defined.

  • Gerald Naglie

    I guess I am looking for a definition of terminology. As a snowbird I am only in my condo unit 6 weeks a year. Thus not making me a perminant resident. I am just under the 55 age restricion. On the deed ,my wife her mother and myself are listed as owners. The question is does my motherinlaw have to be in the unit when I am there or is it good enough that she is an owner ?

  • Joanne Wilson

    If a unit within a 55 and over community is rented by the owner, who lives up North, to a 57 year old person and she in turn permits a person 40 to live in it without her being present, how does this stand within the HUD standards.
    RESPONSE: The regulations only require at least 80% of the occupied units to be occupied by a person 55 or older, but there are other requirements to maintain HOPA status. The governing documents will address unit/home occupancy restrictions.

  • Patti

    My dad was told the condo he had been initially interested in was under contract so since he wanted to live in the complex, chose another which was more expensive and it turns out is difficult to be comfortable in since the lady upstairs has a noisy dog. I feel that the woman who bought the condo he wanted because she was not 55, shouldn’t have been allowed to make that deal. The board wasn’t included, it was the decision of the salesman for the builder. Can anything be done about this kind of situation? Thanks for the help. The woman upstairs with the dob has been cited by the HOA but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
    RESPONSE: Your father, as owner, has the right to pursue violations of the condominium documents. If the upstairs owner continues to create a nuisance, your father can seek to curtail her conduct. There are posts on this site regarding covenant enforcement that may be helpful.

  • http://floridacondoattorneys.com Herb Milgrim

    I read your informative article about the 80/20 Rule. I am curious as to how that would apply where an over 55 owner transfers ownership to an under 55 family member. I have seen language in some declarations providing that the over 55 restriction will not apply to a transfer by a unit owner to an immediate family member. So in the face of such a provision it would appear that a transfer by an over 55 owner to an under 55 immediate family member would be valid. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the issue.
    RESPONSE: The HOPA requirements (state and federal) relate to occupancy, not ownership. Transfer of ownership is governed by the documents.

  • http://floridacondoattorneys.com Herb Milgrim

    I read your informative article about the 80/20 Rule. I am curious as to how that would apply where an over 55 owner transfers ownership to an under 55 family member. I have seen language in some declarations providing that the over 55 restriction will not apply to a transfer by a unit owner to an immediate family member. So in the face of such a provision it would appear that a transfer by an over 55 owner to an under 55 immediate family member would be valid. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the issue. Herb Milgrim (http://floridacondoattorneys.com)

  • Orval Pintuff

    I live in a 55+ only community. Being the new age of living together, we have numerous couples residing together in the same unit. However, only one is listed as an owner. The second person is not listed as an owner nor recognized on the property tax records as an owner. Since our documents requires an owner to be present when the unit is occupied, what happens when the owner dies and the unit is not in the surviving co-habatants name on the deed? I believe without being on the deed, then the surviving partner should be asked to move, which is cold, especially for the elderly. Also, since owners can attend meetings, what happens when a co-habitant non-owner attends meetings? Do we permit them to attend meetings just as we would their owner partner?
    RESPONSE: You’ve raised timely issues that many associations need to confront. There are various ways a surviving partner may be entitled to stay in the home – the couple may have made arrangements for the other to continue to reside in the home as a long-term guest or occupant. Maybe title to the property will transfer to the other occupant (by life estate, deed, will or otherwise). Your documents probably address title transfers by gift or inheritance – those procedures may come into play if the title owner passes away.
    Many associations create rules for purposes of compliance with the owner-occupancy requirement in the documents, naming the partner or significant other a “permanent occupant”. That way there is no violation if the owner goes to visit his/her children for a month or is otherwise away from the property.
    All non-owners must be treated the same when it comes to attendance at meetings and participation or voting on association issues. If the association allows other non-owners (such as spouses of owners) to attend, it should have the same policy with respect to significant others. I generally recommend against allowing non-owners to attend meetings.
    Your question raises an important issue for the people in this situation. Planning is crucial. If you resided with someone for years and years would you want the association (or your children) to kick them out immediately upon your passing? Of course not – so seek counsel and plan how you want to handle the future occupancy or use of a home owned by one party.

  • Mary

    Are persons with disabilities an exception to the 55+ rule? In other words, if a person is on disability, are they counted in the 80% and allowed to live in a 55+ community without effecting the communities standings? This community is in Florida.
    If so, can you advise where I can find this exception stated?
    Thank You!
    RESPONSE: The required percentage of occupancy by persons age 55 or older is addressed in both the federal and state Housing for Older Persons Acts (HOPA). There are links to the laws on various posts in this site and on the HUD and Florida Commission on Human Relations websites.

  • Ron

    I’m confused. I live in a 55+ condo. I am 70. I want to buy another unit which is for sale on the first floor. However, MAY I sell to a couple who are NOT 55, but will NOT live in the unit they purchase from me until one turns 55. Is that legal? HELP PLEASE
    RESPONSE: Transfer and sale restrictions are determined by the applicable governing documents. The federal fair housing laws apply to occupancy, not ownership per se, but many communities impose additional restrictions to facilitate enforcement of the Housing for Older Persons exception.

  • Irvin Hawkes

    What is the definition of ‘occupied unit’.
    We are a small condo association of 24 units which is registered as a 55+ community. At present about 10 of the units are not occupied on a regular basis, due to absentee owners (units unoccupied for more than a year), units for sale/rent, foreclosure, snowbird owners and bank owned.
    That leaves about 14 occupied units at present, of which about 6 are year round owners/tenants.
    What happens when my children (under 55) come down on their own with the grand children and use the condo. The ‘occupied’ wording is very difficult to understand.
    It appears that the calculation for ‘occupied’ is a moving target and that the definition has nothing to do with ownership or occupancy rate.
    RESPONSE: You raise a common question – the term “occupied” is somewhat vague. Different communities define the term differently – so that is the first place to check. The federal regulations only define certain aspects of the term “occupied”. In one place there is a statement that says “occupied” includes units that are temporarily vacant but are occupied on a periodic basis (i.e. snowbirds).
    Guest usage (use by your family when you are absent) is regulated by each community differently. Some communities only allow usage by guests under 18 when the owner (or approved over 55 person) is resident. Others allow this use for specific periods of time (i.e. less than 30 days, less than 2 weeks, etc.). If your community hasn’t adopted guest use regulations, doing so is a good way to define “occupied” for fair housing (over 55) purposes and otherwise governing use of the property. Please consult with counsel regarding the extent or authority of the board to regulate use.

  • francis n donofrio

    can an association in an over 55 community deny a purchase when an applicant is able to purchase the condo for cash and has the ability and finances to cover their maintenance fees? in the agreement i signed i gave them my tax returns which more than covered the minimum requirements they required, all my references personal and banks. then without giving me the opportunity in an interview the association denied my purchase, they stated i did not qualify. my credit score is fair, not good. i was never arrested and my age is 82 not disabled in any way. help
    RESPONSE: The sale approval process is dictated by the governing documents. There may be reasons other than financial reasons you did not qualify for membership revealed on the application itself, thus obviating the need for an interview.

  • k

    My Grandma just passes away and owned a over 55 condo jointly with my mother. Can she add my sister and I on the deed as owners so that we may own under 55 if she passes? also if we are owners can we bring our children (under 18) there to visit with out her presence since we are owners?
    Thanks
    RESPONSE: The documents traditionally restrict use and occupancy rather than ownership. However, many governing documents impose restrictions regarding gifts or voluntary transfers of title.
    Rules regarding use by visitors or children of owners are different in each community. Ownership, by itself, does not result in an exception to the age restrictions.

  • Nancy Johanson

    I recently became an officer on the HOA board in a 55 and over mobile home community. Some people, including board members and officers, seem to think there is a deed restriction that states only 2 people can occupy each residence. I have read the covenants and no such restriction is stated. Since they thought that was already a deed restriction, they are planning on drawing up a revision including it and submitting that to a vote. Can a HOA actually restrict the number of residents in a dwelling when both the dwelling and the property it sits on belong to the homeowner as long as that homeowner and the occupants meet the age requirements?
    RESPONSE: Occupancy limitations in deed restrictions are somewhat tricky. In the past HUD issued a memorandum indicating its position that a 2 person per bedroom occupancy rule (if adopted properly) was presumptively reasonable. I believe it has backed away from that position – but HUD does not make laws for homeowners associations. The size of the residence is relevant to a certain extent as is the type of restriction. Restrictions in the declaration or underlying deed restrictions are not subject to the reasonableness standard for the most part.

  • Paul

    I purchased a unit in a 55+ community in Fla. My father is in his late 80s and living with me. That allowed me to purchase. I have had great difficulty in selling my property up north. I was planning on moving him and me there. In the event he passes can I still live in the property when I sell my house here. I am under 55. Please let me know.
    RESPONSE: Please contact the association to find out what policies they have for occupancy by persons under the age of 55. Generally the association will have guidelines outlining what types of hardship exceptions it will allow within the 20% buffer permitted by Federal law.

  • bob

    I am look to buy in an over 55 development in Pinellas Fl.
    I am over 55. May my 28 year old daughter live with me
    RESPONSE: It depends on the specific community and the governing documents for that community. In my experience, most 55 & over communities will allow adult members of the owner’s family to reside in the home. Most communities ask the prospective owner who will reside in the home in connection with the application process.

  • Schnitt

    Thank you for the article, but im under 55 and own 10 units and living in 1 of them in a 55 and up community, i understand the problems with the 80/20 I had to sue the community I bought the property in to get in the first place.
    Now I will have to sue 9 more times to sell my property to who I so choose to.
    I think its far overdue for these archaic ways of living to be abolished for good.
    Measures restricting where citizens can live based off of any restriction is counter productive to any society.

  • mary ann casalina

    I live in Florida, trying to move to oseaola county from
    oirange cty, who do I contact in regard to the HOPA plan
    I have contacted several agency’s but no now seems to be able to assist except for HUD, which is not accepting
    any more name.
    RESPONSE: HOPA is not assisted housing (financial or otherwise), it is an exception to the laws prohibiting housing providers from excluding families with children.

  • judy helm

    I LIVE IN A 55 AND OLDER COMMUNITY AND AM DUSABLED. MY GRANDAUGHTER IS LIVING WITH ME FOR A FEW MONTHS. WILL SHE BE ABLE TO LIVE HERE WITH THE 80-20 RULE. WILL I HAVE TO GET A DOCTORS EXCUSE. THANKS
    RESPONSE: There are so many variables here that I cannot comment. However, have you asked the board or management if you need or how you obtain permission for your granddaughter to move in? Sometimes the simple approach is the most effective.

  • dom d

    Schnitt,i understand how you feel,i`m going through the same thing now.The tougher you act the more they hate you,the more they`re going to put sticks in your wheels to try to slow you down.we have been refused sales,when the buyer was accepted the board would give the buyer such a hard time they would back out of the deal.we have had the leases of some of our rented units end up at some tax office in fl.to check and make sure if the hotel taxes were collected.The board is were going to turn it into a hotel.Need a good lawyer any help

  • RITA

    HI I AM 40 YEARS OLD AND I AM RECEIVING SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. I AM GETTING A CONDO FROM MY SISTER-IN-LAW WHO IS 55 YEARS OLD. CAN I OWN THIS CONDO IN FLORIDA.
    RESPONSE: You’ll have to ask the community association. Each community has different occupancy and ownership requirements. Many communities do not allow voluntary transfers where none of the intended occupants will qualify for the age restriction.

  • Tom

    Question- My wife has ssi disablity and hasn’t been able to work since 1999 and she is 40, I’m 39. By the Florida rule 80/20 can a 55+ community turn us down to be able to purchase and reside in the community?
    RESPONSE: The 80/20 rule isn’t a Florida rule and its not clear how the disability has anything to do with the age restrictions in a HOPA community.

  • Laura

    My husband and I are both under 55 living in a 55+ community, with my mother (who is older than 55) coming and going only residing certain times of year. The 3 of our names are on the lease and now the association is claiming no one over 55 is living in the home. Upon renting, the property manager informed us if we lived there with my mother’s name on the lease and her being a “snowbird” coming and going we would be within the rules and be fine. But like I said, now the association is claiming she is not living here. I’m not sure what to do. We moved in because we were told it was okay. Are we violating any laws? Do we have rights? We love this place. We are friendly with our neighbors, everyone is so nice. We don’t understand why they are doing this.
    RESPONSE: Check with the property manager that initially approved the transaction (application) and explain the situation to the board of directors. Be prepared to show evidence that your Mother (the conforming resident) does come and stay in the property as a snowbird. The board may feel that the occupancy did not conform to the information on the application.

  • Patricia F. Tracy

    I am living in a 55+ adult MHP in Valrico, Fl. and we are allowed to rent out our homes to anyone over the age of 18 who quaifies financially and is accepted by management. My question is, ” Does the renter then have the same rights and use of all the amenities as the owner or are they limited and if so where will I be able to find a ruling on this??” Thank you for your quick response.
    RESPONSE: It would be very unusual for a Housing for Older Persons community to allow rentals where none of the intended occupants are 55 or older.
    The condominium act allows tenants to step into the shoes of an owner, unless the lease says otherwise and reserves right of use to the owner. MHP can be condominiums, but many are organized differently.

  • john bosco

    i just purchased a property from foreclosure in a 55+ communitty, I am only 45 year old. I have been remodeling for three months and did a survey our building useing county records. my building has 108 units out of which 27 are in various states ie. foreclosure/owner pastaway and is now in trust/ investment property with owners in others states/ HOA foreclosed and owned. I have seen first hand that these units are not “occupied” and the community does not meet the 80/20 rule for more than 5 months. How can I address this to the state and HOA. Becuase it is unfair to say you are a 55+ and you are not. This to me is discrimination and unlawful practice. IE. bait and switch. HELP PLEASE….
    RESPONSE: You may be miscalculating the percentages. The fair housing acts require a minimum threshold of 80% of the occupied units to have at least one occupant that is 55 or older. The non-occupied units are not counted in the equation. If you believe there is a fair housing violation you can file a complaint with the local investigating agency or the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

  • Betty

    my in-laws have a condo in a 55 older complex in florida. my 23 year old son, their grandson, is temporarily living with them while he has a paid job with a baseball team during spring training. he has now been there @ 7 weeks and only has 2.5 weeks left for the job. the board president of their community says he has to be out in 24 hours due a state law regarding guests at a 55 older community stating he can only stay there 21 days. If he is working, is he considered a guest? He is not on vacation. Also, he only has less than 3 weeks left. He is not bothering anyone. Could they not allow him to stay? Is this really their call or can he stay?
    RESPONSE: It is not appropriate for us to respond to specific legal inquiries. Please review the rules and documents for your association and consult with counsel if necessary.

  • Perlmom

    We are in a community that has recently changed to a 55+.  My question is now that we are governed by HOPA do our “rules and regulations” become void?  Or do our governing deed restrictions still remain in force for all other non-55+ issues?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dennis-Teel/1454976503 Dennis Teel

    unfortunately in a 55plus atmosphere,allowing anyone in their 40’s and under to move in causes problems.people in their 40’s and younger have a hard time following the rules of the community.like no noise AT ALL!! in a complex wherein it’s common to see 20 somethings residing,the average tenant expects   to be allowed  to make normal noise.in a senior community normal noise can be too loud!! in a senior community even hearing just  a little bass from a neighbors stereo is too much!! people sitting in the parking lot using their car as their music entertainmaent  is a no no regardless of  whether it’s day or night//.driving through the property with the radio on so it can be heard outside the vehicle is  another no no!! hanging out on the property after dark,even  in  the evening is restricted!! and if young residents can’t follow all of the rules without exception they won’t be living in a senior community for very long!! low noise is still too loud..perod// that’s is the way it is and if young renters believe they’re going to change it they’re dreaming.//many seniors that have  health problems  and need total  quiet  in these communities//younger people will never be able to deal with such rules for very long and their complaining about their ‘rights’ as a tenant won’t help them.the right they’d be complaining about do NOT exist in  a senior living community..long story short if you have a surround sound system you have no business living in a senior community.if you like to have the buddies over on the weekend for beer and jamming stay out of a senior community.if you fancy hanging outside in front of your apartment late at night with friends on summer nights,stay out of senior living communities.what you consider normal activities won’t be tolerated in senior communities.many of the residents go to bed at 9and 10pm and earlier and anything you do to keep them awake can get you legitimately evicted./and that’s the way it SHOULD be.in my community a woma has had her 23 year old son living with her under false pretenses.he’s a bum and not employed.he hs nowhere to go so his mom who is a senior and liveds here,had her dr sign a form claiming her son is helping her(acting as her caregiver).he’s doing no such ting however.he’s using her car o hang out all night and I see him frequently with his pals hanging out at nights on the property.i reported him and now he’s forced to remain inside at nights and he’s fuming mad/..he’s also been called down about hiscar radio as he was driving on the property with his rap music being heard by residents..that came to a stop s well..he’s angry..that’s good..maybe he’ll leave..younger people have no business living ina 55plus community…period!!

  • peeplepleaser

    I am over 55 and buying a condo in a 55+ community.  I understand the need to verify age of owners BUT I do not want the Association to have a copy of my Driver’s License or other document in their office files (I do not believe that keeps my personal information secure, plus, it allows office staff/certain residents to know my exact age, etc., which I would prefer to keep private.)  I supplied a document prepared by a Notary which states the Notary saw my Driver’s License and that it establishes my age as “over 55″ but the Association will not accept this notarized statement as proof of age.  What can I do to get around having an actual copy of my Driver’s License or other specific document on file? They will not allow me to purchase the unit unless I pass the “Interview” and they will not interview me without the Driver’s License on file!!

  • peeplepleaser

    Can the Association force a purchaser to deliver a copy of their Driver’s License or other document to be kept in the office files as proof of age?  I tried to get around this by having a Notary prepare a document that stated she saw my Driver’s License and it proved I was “over 55″ but the Association will not accept this notarized statement as proof of age.  They said they had to have the Driver’s License or Passport, etc. copy in their office file “for when the inspector came around to check ages of owner/occupants.”  I do not want all my personal information on file for everyone who has access to the office files to view; exact date of birth and other information on such documents gives too much information to someone who might use it to steal my identity.  Is there a “legal” way to prove that I am over 55 to satisfy the Association’s records and yet keep some of my information private.

  • peeplepleaser

    While I do not mind living in a “55 and over” community in some ways, I have lived in one for 13 years and find I DO NOT want or like it when some folks stay on and on until they are dead, when they and the whole community would be better off if they moved at a reasonable age to an assisted living facility.  I am speaking of those who have medical crisis after medical crisis, are wheelchair or walker-bound, and can no longer participate in the community activities or meetings. Usually their personalities change as they age and they become surly, grouchy, and just plain mean the older they get, finding fault with everything and everyone, and resisting any change for the better in the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings in general. I think it should be “50-80″ and have rules at both ends of the age spectrum–keeping the younger-than-50 out and forcing out those who hit 80 as well!

  • Cass

    55+ Community Real Estate: I’m in CA and thinking about buying my in-laws a condo near DelRay Beach…Can someone recommend a good broker? I just turned 50 and don’t plan on living in condo until we retire. Are there any areas to “stay away from”???? Thanks!

  • john v

    my mother passed 3 years ago. i am 53 and living in her condo going on two years now. i have been paying the mortgage and maintenance. i am not granted parking pass or any passes for pool and gym access yet they cash my checks every month.are they in violation and is this discrimination?

  • John Cosolito

    Is there any exceptions for disable individuals in there 50’s but not 55 as in New Jersey?

  • “BLACKJACK’

    Got same scenario, what you to solve this issue if any?

  • Sandi Ehler

    I am a vet with 100% service connected disability. Am I exempt for the 55 and older rule? I am 47 and no children under 18 and my 23 year old does not live with me and I just inherited my moms villa in a senior community. The board is in session now, but the president insists I cannot move in because the 80/20 rule refers to units meaning each unit has at least 50% occupants 55 and older Nd doesn’t mean out if all the units 80/20?? He refused to hear me and the manager of the management company said I have to put my request in writing?? Do I need an atty?

  • John Snow

    Amazing the number of comments by people who feel that the over 55 law discriminates against them. There are plenty of family oriented associations and I fail to see why over 55 can’t be left to over 55 persons.

  • skykingtom

    I bought a +55 condo in Lehigh Acres Florida fourteen years ago. The +55 “community” consisted of five buildings which surround a common pool. Each building has it own governing body.
    Last year, one of the buildings went “rogue” and voted to change their rules to delete the 55 age requirement. Now we have children and young parents running around the grounds and using the pool. This has devalued my unit in the adjacent building. What are my rights?
    Do I have any grounds to sue the offending building?

  • ladykaz

    So if the park can make the decision on a case by case basis, i, as a 53 yr old single woman who is disabled could fight this law on that basis?

  • Karen Murray Hernandez

    I would get a lawyer, for both reasons. If they def dont want under 55 they need to put in the rules the condo cannot be willed to under 55 family, or give up fees till person is old enough to move in. God bless you and thank you for your service.

  • glorybe2

    I’m very close to your condo. Part of the problem is allowing every condo project to have different rules and conditions. Why not have one blanket set of docs and rules for all condominiums in the state? The no good plumber issue reflects a lack of control by the state of Florida over the construction industry. Taking money and not performing the work is all too common an issue. Conversely we also have a problem with condo associations that fail to pay contractors. The state has been far too pro business in its laws and bad contractors frequently rip people off.

  • Disappointed and Discouraged

    In South Florida, there are very few condos in the affordable price range for the under 55 age group. It is very discriminatory to not permit people who are just a year or two shy of 55 not to be able to purchase a condo. The condo complexes that are not 55+ are either in dangerous areas or require one to join a country club with a size able down-payment. With all of the short sales and repossessed units on the market, you would think they would change this archaic rule to accommodate those who are 45+

  • Taking a Chill Pill

    That’s a stereotype – not all elderly people hate noise and not all under 40s are noisy. I would agree that an older aged community would probably not be a good choice for most people in their 20s; however, it would be for many people in their 40s or those just shy of 55. That is, if they could put up with crabby older people (just saying…) LOL.

  • pam

    Hi. My husband is 55 and I am 45 and have twin infants. Can we still live in a 55 and over community? Can we be denied?

  • Katherine

    In November 2011, to satisfy our curiosity, my husband and I asked to see a unit on the top (21st floor) of an over 50 housing cooperative; We were awestruck by the incredible vista from the vacant west side unit we were shown. We told the manager that we had been curious about the building and, after seeing the views, would be very interested in living there, but that it would be down the road since we had a daughter in college and it would have to wait until she was established and on her own. His response was “We’ve had people live here with their adult children.” “Really? ” was our response. Pleasantly surprised, we went home, discussed the prospects of moving to the top floor of the 320′ impressive building.
    We arranged to meet the manager to pay the deposits on that particular unit plus it’s adjacent unit. Then, we waited for the call to come notifying us that our units had become available as promised.
    Over a year later, the units were still not available. We called to speak to the the manager, only to discover that he had abandoned his job after catching wind, (reportedly from the boards treasurer) of the board’s’s plan to dismiss him. Since this was startling news, we immediately contacted the bookkeeper, with whom we had an established relationship. In fact, she was the person with whom we corresponded after our decision to buy-in was made. She was also the person through whom we negotiated the final price that we ultimately paid for the units as well as our portion of renovation expenses. We asked her what was going on and when our units would be ready. She told us that the units we had been promised were not going to be available to us. (Initially, we had been promised, besides the vacant unit we were shown, the adjacent unit would also be available very soon as it’s occupant was moving to California. In fact, that second unit was actually occupied by a couple who had agreed to move, one unit to their South. This would free up one of the units originally promised to us. After the manager quit, however, the couple refused to move. Instead, we were offered two units directly across the hall, one unit had was a shell, and the other was occupied by a woman agreeable to moving (into the other uni originally promised to us) Although we were very disappointed, we agreed to the concession as it was promised that the units would be ready in short order.
    We were told that we could make selections in the finishings as long as we paid for any amount over the customary renovation materials/budget. All of our decisions were made in the knowledge that our daughter would remain with us with no caveats. After many broken promises and delays, we were promised another move in date.
    Moving from a large house, with over 30 years of accumulated possessions, to a small home requires a great deal of preparation (selling property, scheduling movers, packers, coordinating to minimize expenses) It was very difficult to coordinate the move because the man doing the work for the building was not reliable. When it became painfully obvious that, the units would not be available as promised, it caused us further duress. (incidentally, we asked if we could temporarily rent two vacant units until ours were ready and were told “no” (incidentally, there were then and are now even more,renters in this building.)
    As a result of mismanagement, we incurred burdensome costs including storage fees and living expenses because the units were,repeatedly, not ready as promised. We canceled movers more than once, packed our belongings ourselves because movers want to do the whole job, rented PODs, paid for storage and, worst of all, were forced to secure a place to live temporarily with no definite date of relief.
    During the waiting period, as we checked in on the renovations, certain residents made it a point to tell us that the building was only over individuals over 55. Our response was that is not what we were told. We continued to be bombarded with questions about our daughter under the guise of friendly inquiry. In order to discourage, what became, from our perspective, badgering, we shared our daughter’s previous plan to attend the local culinary institute followed by a transfer to a state university for completion of a Food Science degree.
    About this time, several members of the board had resigned and still the manager had not yet been replaced.
    While the book keeper was away on vacation in Australia. I was summoned into the office at the request of the maintenance manager. He explained that the board had asked him to meet with me to discuss a complaint brought forth by the recently resigned boards president (as well as our future next door neighbor) She had attended a recent board meeting and expressed opposition to our daughter moving into the building. Apparently, the reason given was that (“they”) ” didn’t want a “teenager having parties” living next door. As a result, the board decided that we should address a statement to them (altering our initial agreement.) I explained to the manager, at great length, that I could not do that. I was not willing to pressure may daughter, limit her options, or fail to provide her with a place to live. In response to my request for a refund, he explained that the board did not want to loose us and that and they really liked and wanted us as residents.
    The market was quite depressed when we moved in, and now, there is a waiting list to get into this building.
    (I discovered later that the former board president, also our, next door neighbor, had urged them to refund our money. Incidently, this is the same woman that was President of the Board when we were initially shown the apartments. Her apartment was on our tour that day AND she was present for the showing. She knew that we had a 19 year old daughter who was moving in with us. Why were we put in a situation of such duress 15 month after the fact?
    In response to my opposition to the notion of restricting our occupancy, the then maintenance manager urged “Go ahead and write something up for them; I’m sure it will all blow over after you move in.” Under extreme duress, I reluctantly submitted a brief statement, being careful to reference the urgency with which we sought occupancy, while (although I did express our daughter’s intent to live with us while going to school) carefully avoiding being otherwise exclusionary.
    We have lived here for 2 1/2 years. Following the most recent board elections, we have received several letters, condescending and demanding in nature, insisting we meet changing demands which range from instructing us to contact the registrar’s office to obtain proof of our daughters college enrollment to kicking our daughter out of her home. We have also been ordered to meet with the manager, and again with the manager plus two representative of the board, and most recently, to present the board with a “resolution to the matter” . We have shared all of what I have written here with the manager (who confided to my husband and me: “I don’t think there would be a problem if it weren’t for the boyfriend staying over” Our daughter has a boyfriend and he has reportedly spent the evening.
    The topic was brought up during our meeting with the two board members. They questioned us about what our daughter was doing, if she was working (2 jobs), was she in school (up until they demanded it!) and if the boyfriend was spending the night.(not since the complaint letter we received on the matter)
    At this point, I asked the board members if they might take objection to our daughter’s new next door standing in the hall, in his skivvies, bidding an early morning farewell to his boyfriend. They countered that they didn’t want to “get off topic”
    I merely wanted to point out that people are entitled to quiet enjoyment in one’s own home and the board should weigh their decisions more carefully and then stand by them as well as their predecessors decisions rather waffling in attempt to please chronic complainers.
    The meeting ended after the board members further insisted that the “gracious and compassionate exception” they made our daughter to live with us” has expired and that she needs to move out. They also insisted that, since the previous manager no longer works here, they do not intend to honor the agreement he made with us. PLEASE ADVISE.