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Can The Board Deny A Sale Or Rental Based On The Age Of The Children?

by Eric Glazer

Q: The rules of our 20-unit condominium, established 30 years ago, prohibit children under the age of 15 as permanent residents. The documents do not declare any other age restriction. However, at least 80 percent of the residents are over age 55 and enjoy the peace and quiet of an "adult" environment. Can the board deny a sale or rental based on the age of the children?

A: No. In 1989, the Legislature amended the Fair Housing Act to prevent discrimination based on "familial status," thereby nullifying age restrictions contained in condominium declarations. In sum, the Act provides exemptions from the law if the condominium qualifies as "housing for older person" which means that the condominium is intended and operated for occupancy by person 55 years of age or older that meets the following requirements:

a) At least 80 percent of the occupied unites are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older;
b) The condominium publishes and adheres to policies and procedures that demonstrate an intent to be "housing for older persons:"
c) That the community complies with rules made by the Secretary of HUD which requires detailed verification by reliable surveys and affidavits that the condominium is in compliance with the preceding paragraph.
At a minimum, since the condominium never amended its Declaration of Condominium to become a 55 and over community, and there seems to be no published rules in effect which require the association to maintain detailed records of the ages of the unit owners, the condominium cannot deny a sale or rental based on the age of the children.

For more information you may contact Glazer & Sachs, P.A. at Corporate Place 1920 East Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale, FL 33009. Telephone: (954) 983-1112.