9:52 AM AKST, January 10, 2013
Blog Sponsored by Taylor & Carls, P.A.
Both the Federal and Florida Fair Housing Acts forbid a community association from discriminating against a proposed tenant or purchaser based on the following:
d. National Origin;
f. Handicap; and
g. Familial Status (e.g. children).
Before the 1988 amendments to the Fair Housing Acts, Homeowners’ Associations and Condominium Associations could preclude children. Now, an Association may not preclude children and a lease may not be denied for that reason, unless your community is exempt. If your community meets the requirements of a 55 and Older Community, then your community is exempt and your Association can prohibit children from living in the community. Further, if your community is a 55 and Older Community, then your Association can also prevent adults (ages 18 to 54) from residing in your community, unless at least one occupant of the home is at least 55 years of age or older.In order to be a 55 and Older Community, your Homeowners’ Association or Condominium Association must comply with the following:
First, at least 80% of the occupied units must be occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older.
Second, the Association must intend to operate as housing designed for persons who are 55 years of age or older. To prove the Association’s intent, it must publish and adhere to policies and procedures that will preserve the community’s status as housing for persons 55 years of age and older.
Third, the Association must comply with the rules established by HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) for verification of occupancy.Fourth, the Association must register with the Florida Commission on Human Relations by sending a certified letter signed by the president of the Association on Association letterhead stating that the Association has complied with the provisions listed above. Such registration is required to be renewed biennially (every two years) from the date of original filing.
This Blog was prepared by Elizabeth A. Lanham-Patrie, Esq. of Taylor & Carls, P.A. The information contained herein should not be acted upon without professional legal advice. The opinions expressed herein are as of the date hereof, and this law firm undertakes no obligation to advise of subsequent changes in the law.
The firm of Taylor & Carls, P.A., with offices located in the Orlando area, Tampa - St. Petersburg area, and Northeast Florida (Jacksonville/St. Augustine/Palm Coast), was founded in 1981 and has practiced in the area of community association law since that date. The firm can be reached Toll Free at 1-800-395-6235 or locally at 407-660-1040.