Condo Media - October 2010 - (Page 18)

ASKED & ANSWERED Under the Age Limit Buying in Age-Restricted Communities Q A QUESTION: If an ineligible (younger than 55) purchaser buys a unit in an age-restricted condominium community, what happens to the buyer, the seller and the community? ANSWER: We’re assuming that: you’re talking about an 80-20 community in which no more than 20 percent off the occupants can be younger than 55; and this new owner pushes the community above that 20 percent cap. The community association has good reason to be concerned, according to Ellen Shapiro, a partner in the Boston and Providence, R.I. law firm Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi. If the community no longer meets the requirements for an “over-55” designation, it would lose its exemption from the age-related anti-discrimination provisions of the Fair Housing Act and could no longer bar residents based on their age. That would mean owners couldn’t refuse to sell their units to families with children and the community could morph into something other than the “seniors only” housing other residents thought they were buying. The federal law, administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), contains a “good faith” exception, under which communities will not lose their Fair Housing exemption if they can demonstrate that they relied “in good faith” on the documentation buyers presented to verify their age. But few over-55 communities in New England, if any, have procedures for verifying the eligibility of buyers before a purchase. Once the board has identified the problem, Shapiro says, it has little choice other than to insist that the ineligible owner either sell the unit or rent it to an eligible occupant. And the board should take the buyer to court, if necessary, to enforce the community’s age restrictions, Shapiro advises. “If you [look the other way],” she warns, “you run the risk that the exception will swallow the rule.” Others will discover the lapse “and the next thing you know, an owner’s girlfriend will want to move in with her two children.” This hard line becomes more difficult to draw, Shapiro acknowledges, when the ineligible buyer is close to 55. “Let’s be realistic,” she says. “If the buyer is 54, by the time you get through the court process, he or she will be at least 55” and the issue will be moot. “These situations are fact-driven,” Shapiro says. The closer the buyer is to 55, the less urgency there is about insisting on a remedy; the younger the buyer, the greater the cause for concern. As for the impact on others involved in the transaction the buyer, the seller and the real estate broker, if there was one, will almost certainly end up in a court battle over who should have disclosed what to whom. The buyer who is unable to live in the unit he or she bought will no doubt argue that the seller and broker failed to disclose the age restriction. But someone will also no doubt point out that age-restricted communities typically promote that feature; they don’t hide it. So it wouldn’t have required much due diligence (reading the marketing material or noticing the driveway sign: “Welcome to Happy Hollows – An Over-55 Community”) for the buyer to have identified the age issue before completing the purchase. Fortunately, the association should not have to be involved in this dispute. That doesn’t mean the association won’t be sued, only that (unless the board or manager assured the buyer that the age issue wouldn’t be a problem), the association shouldn’t have any liability. The association’s sole concern should be protecting the community’s over-55 status. Toward that end, Shapiro says, the boards in age-restricted communities should be reminded of the HUD rule requiring them to conduct a census every two years to verify the age eligibility of residents. That periodic audit won’t prevent a situation like this one, but it will enable the board to monitor compliance and take immediate steps to restore the age balance if that turns out to be necessary. CM 18 CONDO MEDIA • OCTOBER 2010 http://www.ccaco.com http://www.ccaco.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - October 2010

Condo Media - October 2010
Contents
From the CED’s Desk
President’s Message
CAI News
CAI Regional News
Asked & Answered
Homeowner’s Corner
Management
Legal
Finance
CAI-NE Annual Conference & Expo
Vendor Spotlight
Board Member Insight
Industry Perspective
Advertisers Index
Classified Service Directory
Statement of Ownership

Condo Media - October 2010

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201911_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200908
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com