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Yes, Age-Restricted Communities Are Legal

by Bill Ness on 77 Comments

While age-restricted communities must be in compliance with both their state and federal laws, there are exemptions which let them legally limit the age of their residents.

While age-restricted communities must be in compliance with both their state and federal laws, there are exemptions which let them legally limit the age of their residents.

When the subject of active adult communities comes up, people commonly wonder whether age-restricted communities are actually legal. The Fair Housing Act protects homebuyers and renters from discrimination based on several factors, so it seems like it should keep developers from closing their doors to residents under a certain age. However, as long as they meet certain requirements, these communities are not breaking any laws.

Established in 1968, the Fair Housing Act protects homebuyers and renters from discrimination based on seven different areas: race, color, sex, national origin, religion, familial status and disability. Age is not a protected class under the federal Fair Housing Act.

Many states do have their own fair housing laws which include additional protected classes such as marital status, sexual orientation and ancestry. Under these laws, each state can also allow for age protection, which would begin at a defined age, but most do not prevent communities from being exclusive to older adults as they recognize the benefit of senior housing programs.

While age is not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act, the law does prevent discrimination based on familial status. In this case, familial status refers to households which include pregnant women or children under the age of 18. However, the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA) provides exemptions to familial status if a community meets either of the following conditions:

1. All of the occupants of the community are over the age of 62.

2. At least 80 percent of the occupied units include at least one resident who is verified to be over the age of 55, and the community follows a policy that demonstrates an intent to provide housing for those aged 55 or older.

Once a community meets the HOPA requirements, they are free to create their own rules for how they will define their age restriction, as long as they are in compliance with state laws. The community can make the age-restriction more strict than the HOPA requirement, such as stating that all of the residents must be over 55 or that 80 percent of the households must include a resident aged 60 or better.

Most age-restricted communities have two restrictions. The first says that each household (or 80 percent of the households) must include a resident over the age of 55. The second adds an age restriction for the remaining members of the household, such as being over the age of 40 or simply over the age of 18. They can even set guidelines for how long underage visitors (such as grandchildren) are allowed to stay with community residents.

To attract younger buyers, active adult communities can also set lower age restrictions (or no age restrictions) in 20 percent of the development. This can be tricky as a full 80 percent of the occupied units must have at least one resident over the age of 55 to qualify for the HOPA exemption. To be safe, many communities only allow younger households in a smaller portion, such as 15 percent of the development.

While age-restricted communities must be in compliance with both their state and federal laws, there are exemptions which let them legally limit the age of their residents. To learn more about the Fair Housing Act and HOPA exemptions, you can visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) online or read their helpful HOPA questions and answers document.

77 thoughts on “Yes, Age-Restricted Communities Are Legal”

  1. I think there should be more age-restricted communities all over the country — in all 50 states and not just the ones with all the senior amenities. I never had children, never wanted them, yet have had to put up with the noise and mischief of unsupervised kids in most of the subdivisions I’ve lived in — all 8 of them. There are many folks like myself, married or single, who just want to live their lives in peace without all the distractions brought on by children running wild. It’s really the fault of parents who don’t supervise their kids, but, things being what they are, we childless people need a break. It’s about time.

    1. Listen here Marianna, you are an ignorant person. Therefore, I want an ignorant person free community. The whole argument for age restriction is like saying I don’t like anybody but white people which is racist. You are an idiot!

    2. I agree with you completely. I’m 51, a disabled veteran, and lead a very quiet life. Why would I want to live in a family complex with all the noise, litter, and crime that seems to follow the lower income family parks and apartment complexes? I’m too old to buy a $300K house, I’d never pay it off before I’m 80. I’m hoping I can get a waiver to get into a 55+ park, even if I have to pay cash for the house.

      1. Marianne and William seem to have a lot of hostility toward children. That’s sad. Even if you are not a parent, you should realize that children are necessary for the future of the human race. They are natural and God-given, not some kind of horrendous creatures to be avoided and despised. Children are to be loved and nurtured in their communities. It’s sad that some people seem to hate children.

      2. Hmmmm…
        Interesting….
        Crime, litter, low income? I welcome children and have had many. None did any of the things you mention, and as for “low income”, I can purchase a 300k+ home cash (so is that low income). However, I’m not ignorant enough to do so because I’m money smart.

    3. William your point exactly! Your not old enough! too bad! hows that make you feel! 55 plus communities are a drag on the economy and prohibits social advancement. I operate a 55 plus community on a golf course I know bunch of adults 25-45 year old not children that would love to get the deal of resort living at a fraction of the cost. 55 plus communities discriminate against adults up to 55 and some might never live to 55 thus they never get the right to live in that community only because of there age. Its time to stop the segregation. Marianna, your comment is putrid. This has nothing to do with children but thanks for exposing your childhood.

      1. Let me get this straight hab; you “operate a 55 plus community on a golf course” and you don’t think it’s right or fair? Really? Does the community you work for know those feelings?

        Simple enough to change it; just get the community behind you to vote out age restrictions and vote in new CC&R’s. There you go, life would then be perfectly fair in your world then eh?

        One little problem; the vast majority of those living there would fire you in the blink of an eye and hire someone that actually cared about those living in the community. We almost always hear these complaints from those who want a larger range of potential buyers to market to.

        And the simple truth is there are all kinds of mixed age communities for people under 55 to buy into. Pulte/Webb have any number of them, the problem most often is they are newer and the costs are higher.

        Whenever this question comes up, the answer always is; it’s the law that allows age restricted communities to exist. If you can’t get your community to but into you wanting to sell them out, go change the laws…in the long run it may be easier.

    4. I GUESS YOU WERE NEVER A KID HUH — FORGOT HOW YOU GOT HERE ?? YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED IF YOURSELF — MAYBE YOUR MOM SHOULDNT HAVE HAD YOU — WONDER WHAT KIND OF KID YOU WERE ?

      1. TO ALL OF YOU WHO ARE WHINING ABOUT THE POOR LADY WHO JUST WANTS SOME PEACE AND QUIET, YOU SOUND LIKE A BUNCH OF LOUSY PARENTS WHO THINK IT’S OKAY FOR YOUR CHILDREN TO RUN AMOK AND CAUSE MIGRAINE HEADACHES TO OTHERS. I SEE YOUR KIND AT THE GROCERY STORE WHEN THE KIDS RUN INTO MY MOTHER’S ROLLING CART WITHOUT ANY APOLOGY AT ALL. YOU’RE RAISING THE FUTURE BRATS AND DO NOTHINGS OF TOMORROW BUT YOU WILL STILL BE SUPPORTING WHEN THEY’RE ADULTS. YOU SOUND RUDE AND INCONSIDERATE AND AT TOO STUPID TO REALIZE IT.

    5. You live in your own little world. Buy a house in the middle of no where and eat at home. Shop online. There you go…no kids. I guess you just dropped out of the sky a whole adult. You were never an annoying kid. Your so blessed. I had 2 children and have 3 grandchildren. When I’ve had enough of them I go elsewhere. If I was that annoyed like you are, I would do the above.

    6. yes, a break! Us childless adults have to pay school taxes for kids we don’t have! And those kids will be taking care of their own parents and family. Us childless adults will be alone :( broke!

  2. Not even close Dave (ever thought perhaps of a good anger management session or two my friend?). Jumping on Marianna because she likes age restricted communities and then suggesting they are racist in nature (your words friend) is the sign of ignorance, dementia or perhaps early stages of alzheimer.

    Have you visted one? Lived in one? Where is your rage coming from that you would hate age restricted living like this? Do you understand the benefits that are garnered by people (of all races) when they elect to live in communities with people of like interests and in the same age bracket?

    Sorry Dave, but those old steroetypes you cast on age restricted living have been debated early and often since their beginnings and while some don’t like them, many of us do. So here’s the deal brother: You live where you want and i won’t think less of you for it, and conversely you can keep your antiquated (and quite wrong) impressions of how i/we live to yourself.

    Hoping you gain a wealth of knowledge in the year 2012.

  3. I think those 55+ would see things a bit different if there were suddenly communities that popped up saying ‘Under 50′ or, ‘No retirees’, ‘No snowbirds’, etc. You want a place that’s 55+ or better? They have them, they are called retirement homes. Intolerant people, regardless of their reasons why, are symptomatic of a greater issue in our country.

    Bill, you make rational points here, but, you also make the statement, ‘you live where you want’, which, frankly, given the subject matter is a contradiction in terms,

    1. I am 25 and I like the idea. I actually completely understand it. My opinion was the same five years ago. There are some kids who are perfectly fine to live next to or have living in a rental property, there are others who need to be in a delinquent center rather than allowed to destroy rental property or neighbors property. I would like to live in a older community because I like peace. I do not like the mas abundance of kids who have not been taught any manners.

      An illegal alternative that I would be fine with is voting out incapable parents, if there kids don’t have anywhere to go the state will take them. The lack of parenting skills is exactly why these communities were started in the first place. Their is no reason people should have to move to hide from kids, but it is currently the only option.

      1. This is the best statement I’ve seen yet. As for me I’m 66Y.O. and I live amongst several little Demons. They are constantly screaming and writing on the walkways, fighting and the like and causing Mayhem in general. The 10:00 O’clock rule is never enforced. What’s worse the Father who lives alone and right above us is constantly Screaming and cussing them like a drunken sailor. In other words it is not a properly managed building.

        As was suggested in your comment It seems you have hit the proverbial nail on the head. If they had parents who had a modicum of decency they would have disciplined them more effectively long ago. The problem would have been a lot less traumatic for all who live here and also for the kids too. As it is without good rules…when they grow up it is a higher likelihood they will run against rules that will put them in a state run lock up (Prison?) for many years and squelch any creativity and being a productive citizen. Just my opinion.

  4. Those communities you mentioned IiB would be illegal under the law while age restricted communities aren’t. However if they did build them, not sure it would make a whit of difference to me.

    Thanks for the rational comments comment, but here’s where we disagree: I get your point about the contradiction in terms, however it’s quite clear Dave has zero interest in age restricted community, hence he can live where he wants/chooses.

  5. 55+ comunities are every where I can see why the older generation enjoyes them so much they are beautiful I may not be 55 but I dont wish to live in cahos either and that seems to be the only choice I have.

  6. What hasn’t been mentioned here is that a huge majority of these seniors have health problems of one kind or another and can’t be around screaming kids and neighbors bassing out with their music. These communities have strict rules they adhere to. I have a sleep disorder that requires I get uninterrupted sleep every day or wind up in the hospital. A 55plus community allows that. The average rule regarding noise in a 55 plus place is that if you can hear your neighor at ALL they’re too loud!! If their music can be heard on the property AT ALL (car or apartment) they’re being too loud. And they will be evicted if it continues. My mother has severe sleep apnea and to get uninterrupted sleep or she could die… she can’t afford to be bothered by some little 20 year old punk playing his car radio or his surround sound next door. EVER!!! AT ALL!!! GET IT??? This is what these communites offer… so you little punks who don’t like it man up and search elsewhere when looking for an apartment. Your lifestytle isn’t acceptable in a senior community… and you’ll never change that cause the law is on their side for the reasons I mentioned. So if you don’t like it… who cares?

    1. So what happens when a 55 year old plays his radio to loud? Why can’t you just have rules restricting the activities you don’t like w/o discriminating against a group of people based only on their age. The fair housing act only didn’t put age in the list because seniors have a strong lobby. So yes age discrimination is allowed by law but it’s still discrimination. A senior making claims they don’t want to live around young people because all their kids are out of control or they all crank boom boxes all night is just offensive as a young person not wanting an old man living next door stinking of Ben gay and depends. Personally my biggest problem with buying a 55+ community (and yes I reek of Ben gay) is that to me the true test of real ownership is the ability to sell the property. You technically can’t just sell your home in a 55+ community. Or how about pass the property on to your kids? So do you really own it? Sounds like sort of.

      1. It’s real heard to sell think of your kids under age the toll the property will tak on them when you die. They will have to pay taxes, housing fees, ect and not be able to use it how long is it going to take to get a FAIR price for it. I don’t like living around some people but have no choice it would be discrimination. I would understand if the 55+communities where required to provide shuttle service to stores or other services due to health issues but most are just communities that want to discriminate against the younger generation and to manny are popping up taking housing away from people under 55. What if the younger people pushed a law to required driving / vision test every year for persons over 55. They would be singing a different song then.

  7. I am not 55+ and found the perfect townhome near me…. But it’s in a 55+ community, so I’m not permitted to buy it. It does seem discriminatory to me, and I was very surprised that the law allows it. I agree with Ignorance is Bipartisan; how would 55+ folks feel if other communities started advertising as 50 and under only communities?

    1. I would like if they would advertise this way! We could have the 50 under, 55+ and whatever. You can then choose the style that fits you. People who try to maintain property value will go to theHOA and restricted places.:-) i.m ready now!

  8. Bill Pearson – I hope you tell Dennis Teel to calm down the way you did Dave. I am nowhere near the age of 55, yet I came to research if they are legal out of curiosity since I do some work for a Realtor. Why such vitriol, Dennis? My goodness. Not everyone who questions the legality of such communities is some punk who rents an apartment just to play loud music and bother the people next door. You need to chill out. Looks like that 55+ community isn’t helping you do that. You have done nothing but come across as an angry, irrational person who hates the world. That is sad. And I have made a mental note to check out my neighbors carefully when I do reach the age of 55 and start thinking about “old folk” communities. I would never want to live next to someone as miserable as you. Start enjoying life a little more and lose some of the anger.

    1. i think it’s interesting how most of you didn’t get my point.there’s good reason for these communities and yet many of you still see them as being age discrminatory in the sense that there’s no justification for it.i’m rather amused at how people attempt at using (failed)psychology toward posters they disagree with..accusing them of being angry,etc…that’s actually funny .i was making a point that i think many were either just unconcerned with or totally avioding in these discussions.55 plus communites are just in age restriction,for most residents living ina 55 plus community have health concerns that don’t allow them to live ‘just anywhere’..most 55 plus communities are not simply retirement communities.btw a retirement community is technically not the same as a senior living community.Retirement communites generally refer to a group of condos wherein old folks regardless of their health(in fact,most of them healthy enough to play golf) to retire.senior living communities are usually villas or similar that house more ill stricken residents than perfectly healthy.and btw,i’m not angry..but if you see the logic in what i say,please feel free to label me as being angry./no problemo.

  9. You did a pretty good job of telling him Sara, so i’ll just bow out of any kind of reprimand. Life goes by way too fast to be that short of tolerance on either side of the argument. Sadly, even in a place like Sun City we get some COP’s (crabby old people). I’ll never quite get it, but what the heck…to each their own.

    Andrew Blechman led the charge on age restricted communities in his book Leisureville. I know we become easy targets but i’ll never quite understand why people get so enraged about this type of living choice.

    Doesn’t matter really; hopefully people will respect others and the choices they make.

    1. @ bill..you serious? you’re patting sara on the back for ‘telling me off”?i surely have to wonder what’s wrong with you,mr peasron// i was making a point just as anyone here is.i choose however to not pat someone on the back merely because they told someone off that i too,disagree with./that’s childish.my point was that while some call age restricted communities an unjust thing,i can actually prove otherwise by case study and why the age restriction is present and how that the majority of residents living in these communities,need to be there due to health concerns./ and that to bash these places with a blanket stamp of age discrimination is actually the unjust circimstance.but again..i’m obviulsy angry,hehehehe….

    2. Bill Pearson,
      You said (typed) “i’ll never quite understand why people get so enraged about this type of living choice. ”

      I’m in my twenties. I found a home which is to my liking, location price and size. However, due to my age, I am not even given the option to buy the house. I believe people get mad about this “living choice” is because it effects them physically and emotionally (not getting the location and being rejected, respectively). They feel discriminated against and they rightfully should. They are being told where they cannot live due to something they cannot control, their age.
      With that said, in my personal opinion, I support these communities. I already can’t take the “younger lifestyle” and look forward to a “mature” neighborhood.

  10. My wife and I live in a 55+ subdivision and have done so for 7 years. I was 45 when we moved in as our community allows for the 20% to be 45 and older with no children living at home. We moved here because our kids are grown and have lives of their own. We also moved here because we had terrible experiences with past neighbors. We “thought” living in an “adult” community would provide a reasonable level of sanity amongst neighbors. We couldn’t have been more wrong. I’m not saying all residents are bad here but I am saying that our lives have been made difficult by a group of residents simply because of our age. My wife and I workout and maintain a healthy appearance and we look closer to mid forties even now. I was a former bodybuilder so when I go to our community gym I get looks and not the friendly kind. We get treated like we don’t belong. We see elderly people fighting over two inches of property. We see first hand, the HOA favoring the opinions and false accusations of the older residents. I guess they want to survive their jobs with the majority. In my career, I work closely with law enforcement and I hear horror stories about 75 year old women going fist to cuff over landscaping issues. I have been a victim of hit and run in the community and then they sent the police after me. I have had so many false allegation leveled at at us simply because we are younger and many of the residents are apparently bored and have nothing better to do. For the younger people making comments about these communities and how they restrict younger people, please consider that you may be dodging a bullet by being excluded. For us we are ever hopeful that somehow things will change around us and that better people will come in their place. What I am saying is that people are people. There is good and there is bad. The age itself is not of importance as much as the character of the individual. I wish we had more people here that are in their forties and early fifties just so we could have a better balance and the community would come together. Right now it’s more like the younger adults are on the outside looking in. I for one would hope that they would have younger communities for either singles or for young families. It just makes sense. When I was single I sought other singles and when married with kids I sought other young married people with kids. I am older now and like my community and what it offers. The fact that someone may be 75 while I am 52 is fine with me. I find the conversations interesting and enlightening. Most of the residents are really nice. Like any other community there are a few bad apples.

  11. i forgot to mention one thing ..i had to move in to a senior community to avoid punk kids bassing their cars and people hanging out on the property all hours of the night and of course there were the screaming kids in the daytime..sometimes at night in the wee hours.my calling them punk kids was factual and they were real incidents,not figments that were formed in angry person’s mind.if my description offended anyone i aplogize but they were real none the less.angry?? hehehe..not really,no.i presume the caps makes me people feel such./i never said that anyone who questions the legality of these communities is a punk ,etc etc..//an @Sara..i have no idea what your ilike as a person so i would never make deliberate ,rash statements regarding wjether or not i’d suffer living next door to you or not .in fact it would be quite frankly,embarrasing and immature of me to post something so harshly about someone directly, based on just one post.

    1. Dennis Teel,
      You’re “covertly” personally attacking Sara when you say “in fact it would be quite frankly,embarrasing and immature of me to post something so harshly about someone directly, based on just one post.” You’re calling her immature and an embarrassment.
      Just because you are given anonymity online does not mean you should abuse it and be cruel.

  12. Tongue in cheek Dennis, tongue in cheek. My real point is we need tolerance on both sides of the discussion. All of us have the capacity to lash out and rip, but to what end?

    My initial bashing of Dave was for going after Marianna and calling her ignorant. Sara in turn wanted me to rip you but she had done that and if you reread your post, you hadn’t chastised a poster, simply stated your views. So why would I?

    Deep breath, smile and enjoy life…no matter which side of the argument you fall down on.

    1. What’s odd ot me is that this issue or conversation exists to begin with ..These senior communities will be around forever..They’ve been around for over 20 and 30 years and I find it odd that people are only now having a problem with them as being an issue.They’re never going to considered as discriminatory ,and they’ll never disappear.They have a track record that works and that serves it’s purpose legitimately and doctors and psychiatrists will all agree thisAs an issue it’s it’s kind of moot ,,except for the ‘haters’ or those that are jealous.

  13. I am 53 living with my 55 year old fiancee in a 55+ mhp. The community had always
    Allowed a few people under 55, the youngest in the park is my friend and she is 46 and lives alone. She was allowed by the past managers. Well now there is a new management couple that are dictators. The man just informed me that they have done all the legal paperwork in the state of Florida to change the age restriction to absolutely NO ONE under the age of 55 is allowed. I have heard of other communities that have tried to legally change the community to seniors only, but were not able to change it because it was already run as an 80/20 community. I guess what I’m saying is that I’ve personally seen 2 communities fail in their attempt to change the status of the community. I’m not so much concerned for myself because i have my own home that i want to move back into. And i think that it would be correct to assume that my friend is grandfathered in? Please tell me if i am wrong. My real question is after seeing these other communities fail at their attempts, is this manager lying about this new status? Is it possible that they have managed to make a change that others have failed at? Is it lawful? At this time of year the homes are maybe 20 percent occupied, as the rest are snow birds that are only here 3-5 months of the year (not sure if that id of importance or not). But if there are already people under 55, some of whom he allowed, how can they refuse someone that may be 53 when they already have people under 55 living here? is he just being a blow hard dictator that (always) makes his own rules? Or can the park owner legally change the minimum age limitation after it had run 80/20 for the entire time that they have owned the property and also has been this way since the 1970′s. I would appreciate a response by email because I’m not sure if i can find this page again, as i just stumbled upon it and you seem extremely knowledgable on the subject. Thanking you in advance.

  14. My wife & I currently live in a 55 and older community and understand why they exist and the advantages they provide their residents.

    What I am curious to know does living in this type of community, mean:

    (1): Grandkids cannot be adopted if they are put in foster care?

    (2) Residents cannot become foster parents?

    (3) Residents cannot get pregnant or if they do they must move?

    (4) Residents cannot get married to a younger women who may still be able to have children?

    1. I hear a lot about restriction on children and why it is the way it is, but what if the 55 yr old after a year has lived in at 55+ community and decides to marry one who is 50, would that person have to vacate?

  15. It would depend on what the documents of the community calls for. In the original Sun City AZ, the deed restrictions have the obligation for at least one of the residents in the house to be 55 years of age. I suspect that is pretty common. We also state where a spouse is younger and the age qualified person would die, the spouse can remain as long as they don’t remarry someone less than 55.

    And for Joe, again the community documents you sign will spell out most of those answers. In most cases I think you will find questions 1, 2 and 3 will be yes while 4 won’t preempt someone from marrying a woman able to have children. Obviously if she becomes pregnant question 3 applies.

  16. Anyone have thoughts on this:

    How does a large national home builder advertise and sell homes with no age restriction, than 2 years later decide to convert to 55+. The family that bought into that community expected other families with children to purchase homes, and now these young children are stuck to live in a 55+ with no others their age.

  17. My parents bought a home in a 55+ community seventeen years ago. Now my mother is deceased and my father is living in an assisted living community. My sister and I have had the house on the market for over two years. A big problem in selling the home is that a small percentage of homebuyers are eligible to live there. And some who are 55+ don’t want to live in such a community. In today’s bad rap estate market, we are really hurting. Before buying, people should think about the difficulty they (or their heirs) will have in selling the house.

    1. I am one of the 55 and over residents. there are good things and bad things It is not as great as you think. yes, we have great amenities but are we able to use them. there are some many rules and regulations I feel like I am in a concentration camp. truthfully I grew up in the generation that you took care of your elder relatives and I mean relatives. Aunt, Uncles grandparents and so on we never would let them go away by themselves and supposable be so happy. Don’t believe it. I would rather have a little room with my relatives and be very happy giving them the money I spend for living with strangers. Do you know how many of old people with lots of money are unhappy because we are sent to old folks home? A lot and they are very lonely people cause there children leave them there visit them once in awhile and bragged to their friends what a great place their parent live BULLCRAP Sorry just my opinion
      and yes parents need to act like parents and need to take the responsibility of raising their kids to respectful and courteous people

  18. Interesting comments Claudia. We went through a period of soft sales (like the rest of the country when there was a glut of foreclosures), but that has hardly been the case in the last two years in Sun City AZ. This year alone more than 2000 homes will sell in the first age restricted community in the country.

    Here’s the kicker though; you need to price them right. We’ve had homes on the market forever because they were priced at 2006/2007 price points even though the housing market crashed like it did. The simple truth is a property is only worth what it will sell for.

    The niche market for age restricted communities has always been around 10% of the senior population. I guess the moral to the story is to understand exactly what it is you are buying and how the associated costs/amenity packages that come with it will impact you at the point of sale.

    Good luck moving it and moving on.

  19. in a 55plus community if one owner is over 55 and the other owner is under 55 , what happens if the over 55 person dies does the spouse have to move??

  20. Each community should have their own set of deed restrictions that would govern should that happen. In Sun City AZ, ours allows the spouse to stay unless and until they remarry. If they marry someone of legal age (55 or older), no problem but if it’s a 45 year old widow and she marries a 45 year old they would have to move.

    Always check the community’s documents CC&R’s, deed restrictions, by-laws and articles of incorporation before you buy. There are almost always nuances and differences you should know before hand if at all possible.

  21. There seem to be quite a few 40+ Active Adult Communities listed on this site.
    I wonder how many young people actually have the funds and desire to live
    in a community with older retirees. The “retirement community” concept is just that…a place for retirees to enjoy.

  22. I have lived in a 55+ park for about a year, I became ill lately and my daughter came to help me she has 2 young children, they have been here about 10 days and will be going home soon. I gave notice to the owner about them being here there was no problem. It says in the rules that I am allowed to have guests for up to 15 days and no longer then 30 days. Today I was told by a resident that they were going to start a petition to either get me and my husband out or to remove the kids from the park. How can they do that I did nothing wrong but they seem to judge us. They said we could have them for the school break but not any longer these r residents the HOA I think they stand on the street and talk about us. So what can I do, I am going to have family over once in awhile. I do not feel they have the right to dictate to us when we can have guests or our grandchildren. The manager told them to put their complaints in writing. my daughter has decided to leave early. She only lives a few miles away but the point being she is the only child that lives close. I do feel better, but it is the principal.

  23. I have a question… My husband, and I, (mid 30s) and our two boys (11 and 13), are transferring to NC (from Maine) for his job, we won’t be making much and have been looking into apartments. We don’t want to move into some run-down, drug laden complex, (which our income and transfer funds only allow us) and are pretty easy going, calm family. I like the idea of a fitness centers, and maintained areas that the 55+ complexes offer. What are some things we can look out for or prepare for managers, so we can get into a nicer complex with reasonable rates? We don’t mind being quiet, and having curfews, we just want safety, and reasonable pricing!

  24. I live in a 55 and older community and can honestly say I hate it. There are some residents in here that would love to live in the 70′s & 80′s. I have lived here for 12 years, and the covenant committee in this development worries more about garbage cans being out and how many of the 7 dwarf’s are in anyone’s garden. The old biddies in here watch every move you make. I am 67 yrs. old and have made it this far in life without anyone over my shoulder. If I could sell my home today, I swear I would be out tomorrow. Great neighbors (who feel the same) but don’t buy in one of these restricted communities, you’ll be sorry. You can’t do anything without getting permission what a PITA!!!!

  25. Senior living communities are legal and that’s that.The place I live in doesn’t even consider the allowed 20% under 55..They recently in fact just evicted 3 residents who were ‘hiding’ their grown kids..3 of them on foot, going to work after the office closes,then coming back on to the property after work at 3 and 4am..I’m a day sleeper(from 9 to 5),so I’m up nights..i’m the only resident awake that late here.saw stuff residents didn’t expect anyone to see and probabl;y never would’ve been caught had I not moved in./these three ladies ..they could have moved into a family complex but instead moved here with he intention of hiding their kids.

  26. I am so tired of being told I am not “Old Enough!” to move in. I am mid 50′s, that’s plenty old enough. I too never had children and don’t want to live in an apartment complex and have to listen to them. I like children, I just want them to live somewhere else. I don’t want to live next door to or under 20 yrs olds blasting their music at all hours of the night. I just wished they had more apartment for middle age people. Here you have to 60+ and retired.

    1. you’re confused..if you’re not at least 60 and the minimum age accepted is 60 then you’re obviously not old enough..it’s simple but you seem confused.and there’s always somebody who feels they’re the exception to the rule…those are people who don’t like rules.

  27. There an old saying, “you can’t explain the winter to a mosquito!”. The mosquito does not live to see winter, and will never knows or understand the true nature of the winter, despite how well one tries to explain the winter and cold weather.
    I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just as one who will is liberal and sympathetic for the criminals of our society, until one has become a victim of a crime, or someone in their life has become a victim.

  28. I am one of thousands of Grandparents raising their Grandchildre. I am a 57 year old grandmother who is raising my six yr old grandchild alone. I am financially strained and my retireme My grandchild is a very good boy. My retirement looks pretty grim, so I need all the help I can get, yet I not allowed tolive in any I have applied for. I certainly feel discriminated against.

  29. My wife and I are in our mid 60′s and we moved into a 55+ community one year ago. We researched the advantages and disadvantages of living in age restricted community that had a covenant. Also we talked to friends who live in such communities, and we decided that it would be the best option for us. Unfortunately, there is one family in the neighborhood that is causing tension and division among resident. They are a three generation family consisting of the grandparents, a grown daughter and her two children who are in their late teens or early 20′s. also, the girlfriend of the grandson is living with them. All six of these people have cars and parking quickly became an issue. They were parking two cars in the garage and the other four cars in the commons parking area, which is meant for guest of residents. There are only two commons areas for parking and they are taking all the spaces in this particular area of the community. This family creates a lot of activity in the neighborhood. Young people are constantly coming and going at the house. Radios are blaring–sometimes at 1am, tires squealing, disrespectful behavior to a couple of other residents. Lately I, and others, have seen what suspiciously looks like drug sales. My wife and I moved into this community because we wanted peace and quiet in a community of like minded people. That is the intention of these communities, but that is not what we are getting. The grandparents are nice people, but they are blind to the effect that their family is having on the rest of the community. They feel that they are being persecuted unfairly. I don’t know what they were thinking, but if we had been in the same situation with my daughter and her two children , we never would have moved into a community like this. This community was not intended for a three generation family and live in non relatives. By the way, there are at least three families in the neighborhood who have a college age young adult living with them. No one really minds because they do not create any problems. The family next door has a college age daughter, but you would never know that she is there. It is the same with the other two families.

  30. I just went and looked at a PERFECT house just now. Cheap, nice yard, good size rooms… then the guy next door told me that it was 55 and over in there. Ticked me off to know that, but then again my 3 small kids wouldn’t have anyone to play with and the neighbors would hate us. Makes me wish that I could start a community and tell people over 55 that they’re not welcome. The people who want these restrictions should go live in nursing homes and die already.

  31. I currently live in an “open” townhome community and the mass majority of owners/renters are 55 and under. Now someone wants to change the 50 townhome community to a 55 restricted community. Now they want to get rid of the young families with children and “grandfather” existing young families in and when they leave they will apply the 55 and over HOA regulation. These people new this community was an “open” community and now they want to put a 55 and over age restriction to suit their personal needs. This is not right. I’m 66 and I absolutely don’t mind young families. I think it is great, especially during the holidays. I’m fighting this one all the way!!!!

  32. Home builders may want to consider offering senior community for those who want to live with their children. This seems to be a very contentious issue for so many so why not give the customer what they want?

  33. Gosh it saddens me to see all of this bickering back and forth. The senior communities do not house a bunch of kid haters. But the people that built the facility, who ever they may be, chose to designate what they paid to build to be used by Seniors. I don’t think that anyone should be angry at the fact that these types of neighborhoods exist. Some people have raised their families and have grandchildren, maybe even great-grandchildren but would like to be around people of their own age group. Being a Senior in a “multi family” neighborhood can sometimes leave a senior feeling lonely and isolated. Apartment complexes especially have younger people that are more apt to move frequently, where as Senior Apartments tend to have resident that stay for years. This helps Seniors live a longer, happier life which is precisely what I would want for my parents and or grandparents. Please remember there are two sides to these dilemmas.

  34. I’m sorry to hear that grandparents don’t want their grandchildren to leave next to them that’s the reason they end up on this communities and they are dying in nursing home without children and grandchildren around it is so sad .

  35. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you should publish more on this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but generally folks don’t speak about these issues. To the next! Kind regards!!|

  36. people..55+ housing is legal..live with it cuz you ain’t gonna change it!!! bwa’hahahahahaha….I feel better now

  37. this isn’t a discussion as far as I can tell..it’s a bunch of people yelling age discrimination and others defending it..it’s not a discussion..it’s anger management on the part of the jealous readers..trust me..that’s exactly what it’s all about..i guarantee you that even if the 55plus complex I live in let young people move in ,they wouldn’t remain here..they’d be forced to keep volume down to a complete minimum..the walls are paper thin and can’t have surround sound speakers or any table top or floor speakers as the bass even at the lowest level carries through the walls like a bass drum. and NOBOY LOITERING on the property(hanging out)after 10pm and music is not to be heard from cars on the property anytime whatsoever…NO PARTIES!!! so yeah..let the young farkles move in..they won’t stay long..see THEY CLAIM it’s the age thing..discrimination…they wouldn’t like the rules being strongly enforced!! young people would last barely a week here..they’d get pee’d off and move..which is why it’s great for seniors!! so it would all come back to the property being attracted to seniors anyway and NOT youngsters..and the the issue would be moot and then young people would just find another forum to somewhere bitch in.//

  38. Is it possible to get a waiver? if your younger then the 55? My husband is a Ret. Vet and I am 52 and he is a little younger then me and our children are grown and we would like to live in a 55 community here in Virginia. How does someone apply for a waiver to get into the community?

    1. Hi Tamara,

      We’ll have one of our expert agents get in touch with you regarding this situation.

      Thanks!
      Kate, 55places.com

  39. So I got a very important question I’m 29 years old married to my husband of 63 years old God forbid something happens to him this home we bought cash and is in both of our names will I loose the house and get ask to leave will I get kicked out of the 55+ community??

    1. Good Morning Benito,

      For a specific question like this I would advise checking with your Homeowner’s association. They’ll be able to give you the information on your situation.

      Thank you for commenting on our blog!
      Kate, 55places.com

  40. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing
    issues with your site. It appears like some of the text within your posts are running off
    the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let
    me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a problem with my
    internet browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Thank you

  41. here’s a lot of the problem..those of you who claim you’re just under 55 say you should be an exception..if they lowered the age to 45 minimum ,there would be 44 and 43 year olds claiming exactly what you’re claiming..that they should be exceptions to the rule…understand?? if you’re under 55 you’re too young fotr a 55 plus..period..same with 60 and 65.. but everybody wants to be the exception..good grief

  42. Hello,
    I know this article is old but I’ve seen a few posts from less than a year ago. I hope to get some type of response but don’t expect it. I’m 36 years old and was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis on Dec1 2013. My mother lives in a 55+ mobile home community. To cut down on living costs and to get help needed I am moving in with her for a while. I expressed my concern to her about this age restriction and she assured me it wont be a problem as there is a 30 years old with a 5yr old kid living across the street for the past year. I was just curious is there is any rules, regulations, or laws about a younger disabled adults moving in with a 55+ family member? I looked on their website and it does mention its a 55+ community but they have no policies, rules, or regulations posted anywhere on their site or any other sites referencing the community. Some real estates sites with homes listed in this community state 55+ age restriction and others don’t show any age restrictions. I know I wont be a bother to anyone since I’m quiet, probably wont even notice I’m there but kind of worried about the legalities.

  43. Hey Chad: Every age restricted community should have their governing documents available for home owners. Some won’t post them and in some cases they aren’t very open about them. Pretty sad but true. Your mother should have access to them.

    I’ll only speak to the original Sun City; just so you have a starting point. We fall under both State/County and Federal protections and our community documents mandate the requirement of at least 1 person living in the home being 55 years or older. Children over 19 years of age can live with their parents as long as one of them is 55.

    The Fair Housing Act of 1968 was the beginning of the legislation and in 1995 the Federal Government added The Housing for Older Persons Act. Here is their criteria:
    To qualify for exemption, a community must show that:
    >It is intended and operated for occupancy by persons 55 years of age or older, and
    >At least 80 percent of the units are occupied by at least one person who is 55 years of age or older; and
    >It provides for age verification by reliable surveys and affidavits; and
    >It has published and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate its intent to qualify for the exemption.

    Get those documents and start reading> I suspect there’s a chance you’ll be able to live there.

  44. Thanks for the response Bill.
    80% seems like a high number. That’s like needing 5 adults living in a house with only 1 of them being under 55 if I understand correctly. Either way I appreciate the response :)

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