Are the 55 communities age-restricted? Will I be qualified to purchase a home even if I am less than 55?

Asked by Maryam Pineda, Cathedral City, CA Tue Mar 29, 2011

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John Arendsen’s answer
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Mar 30, 2011
55 & Over Housing: What is the 80/20 Rule?

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:
At least 80% of the units must be occupied by at least one resident over the age of 55;
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
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.

We have been dealing with all facits of the Manufactured Housing Industry in the Palm Desert/Springs ares for almost three decades. If you're interested in the purchase of a Manufactured Home in a senior community please fee free to contact us.

John DL Arendsen
Real Estate Broker
Manufactured Home Dealer & Developer
Manufactured Home Contractor
General Contractor
4 votes
Hello,my mom and dad are homeowners of a mobile house in a senior park in CA. I am 27 yrs old and planning to have my newborn in their house for 30-40 days. I am not planning to live there,just a vacation so my parents will experience to be grandparents. But manager is so rude, threatening us to bring us to court if we insist on it. I told them, I wont live there. I've read lots of articles online saying management can give us time to stay some maybe like 30-90days. I wrote a clarification letter to them with the articles i have online for supporting documents. But they threaten us to go to the court coz the letter is kinda rude for them. But It aint rude. I just ask why online articles about visitation for under 18 years are not applicable to their senior community.
Flag Wed Feb 22, 2017
cool, I understand. Lived in Leucadia when I was a kid. I'm almost 55 and would love to live in North County again, anything affordable? Please advise;

Harold Atkisson
Flag Sun Sep 25, 2016
I am looking to buy a mobile home in the Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert areas around Phoenix and I am 58, but my only daughter is only going to be 17 when we move. Do you think I can still attempt residency at a 55+ community?
Flag Tue Mar 15, 2016
Hello, I guess I'm the youngest one here. I'm actually only 23 and I have enough saved to purchase a mobile home for myself and my infant daughter. the home is currently in 55+ neighborhood as well... since I am considerably younger than all the others that have posted questions on this site do you think I have a chance at contesting the rule?
Flag Thu Jan 7, 2016
I live in a 55 and older mobile park in Yucaipa. Recently my ex wife died and we have an 18 year old mentally handicapped son. I am the only parent and he came to live with me. I told the manager and she said she would let me know soon if I had to sell and move out. Can he legally stay with me because of his condition He does not go outside except for Mon.- Fri. he is picked up for day care.
Flag Wed Nov 25, 2015
this is very interesting. I'm actually looking to purchase a mobile home in Florida's Clearwater/Tampa area towards the end of 2016 and I find this 55+ practice extremely discriminatory. I've been looking around online and there is nothing available as everything is within a 55+ plus community. I'm not 55 yet but I would still like to be in a community of older adults, do you know of some mobile home communities in that area that are inclusive of 40+ adults? Actually, any mobile home community that is NOT 55+, I've found it quite difficult to locate such.
Flag Wed Nov 4, 2015
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Wed Mar 30, 2011
Maybe this will give you some factual insight. I'll try to dig up some more info for you. Is this a Manufactured Home Community, Condo, Townhome?

"To qualify for the "55 and older" federal exemption, communities must meet the requirements established in the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA). Specifically, at least 80% of the units or homes must be occupied by at least one occupant who is age 55 or older and the community must be able to demonstrate, through written policies, lease provisions, advertising, etc. that the community is designed exclusively for older residents."
2 votes
KSmith1, Home Buyer, Cathedral City, CA
Fri Mar 21, 2014
I am 60 and my husband is 65. We have an adult mentally slow son age 30. Can he move into a 55 plus adult community in florida with us?
1 vote
Im sorry over 18.
Flag Fri Oct 10, 2014
Anyone over the age of 21 can live you. There are no exceptions to this Federal rule. At least one resident must be 55 plus.

You don't have to be 55 to even buy in 55 plus.
Flag Fri Oct 10, 2014
It depends on the park Some have it over 18 others only one needs to be 55+ others make expections like your situation. you should be looking at your guidelines.
Flag Mon Apr 28, 2014
Jane Grant, Agent, Aguanga, CA
Tue Mar 29, 2011
I am thinking you must be close to 55 or you would not be asking....

Actually, each community can have slightly different rules. Some allow for a small percentage of residents under the age of 55. This is due to a lawsuit that was filed against a 55+ community when one of the residents qualifying partner died and the other resident was left in the community at age 45. The other residents in the community tried to get the younger woman out and she sued and won the case and therefore a presidence was set that changed the rules to sometimes allow a 45 year old resident.

The rules regarding residence at age-restricted communities can vary greatly from one community to the next. Many active adult communities only allow residents who are over the age of 55. However, the rules are set at location. Some communities may set the minimum age at 50, or even 45.

A community’s rules may also stipulate that only one resident meet the age requirement. There may be a different minimum for additional residents. For example, a married couple whose ages are 55 and 45, may still meet the requirements to live in a community that is restricted to those 55 and older, if the rules state that only one resident be over the age of 55.
1 vote
Where can I find what applies in Suffolk County NY? I rent in a 55+ community and my girlfriend is 40, if we get married can she move in with me?
Flag Sat Sep 26, 2015
Where can I find what applies in Suffolk County NY? I rent in a 55+ community and my girlfriend is 40, if we get married can she move in with me?
Flag Sat Sep 26, 2015
Where can I find what applies in Suffolk County NY? I rent in a 55+ community and my girlfriend is 40, if we get married can she move in with me?
Flag Sat Sep 26, 2015
Where can I find what applies in Suffolk County NY? I rent in a 55+ community and my girlfriend is 40, if we get married can she move in with me?
Flag Sat Sep 26, 2015
I am thinking of moving with my husband to 55 plus mobile home park in Florida. I am 60 and my husband is 65. We have an adult son who is 30 but is disabled. Can he live with us in a mobile home park in Florida?
Flag Wed Mar 12, 2014
Rolandgroff, Home Buyer, Cathedral City, CA
Wed Jul 12, 2017
I am 55 looking to buy a tailor house in a 55 and over park my girlfriend is 51 can she live with me there
0 votes
Rolandgroff, Home Buyer, Cathedral City, CA
Wed Jul 12, 2017
I am 55 my girlfriend is 52 can she live with me in a trailor park for 55 and over
0 votes
Wrkngnana, Home Buyer, Cathedral City, CA
Wed Jun 14, 2017
I live in Tucson, AZ and reside in a "55+ apartment complex" My question is what percentage, if this is the way it is figured can be under 55. We have newlyweds with a recent baby. We have grandma's taking care of children from 3 or 4 all the way up to 30's. To be very honest we have so many kids it makes it almost impossible for the older residents to use this pool. We mostly like to swim laps, float on rafts and sit in the water and visit. We would just like some help and what another property may have answers for us. Thank you
0 votes
Richardg3470, Home Buyer, Cathedral City, CA
Wed Jun 7, 2017
Im 47 years old is there any senior citizen home that i can rent an apartment in virginia
0 votes
Jbyrdmesa, Home Buyer, Cathedral City, CA
Sun May 14, 2017
I am 55 yrs old and considering purchasing in a 55comnunity. Except I have an 18 year old son that is just graduating hs and needs a few months to get employed so he can move out into the world. Is there anyway he would be able to stay with me for a few months? Not sure exactly the rules of adult communities. Would live a response
0 votes
Ji6060, Home Buyer, Cathedral City, CA
Sun Aug 7, 2016
Can two sisters live in a 55+ community one is 53 and the other 60. ? The 53 year old is the financial provider .an the one purchasing the home. . Please help
0 votes
Billp49, Home Buyer, Cathedral City, CA
Sat Apr 30, 2016
If your spouse is above 55 then u are ok
0 votes
How about two sisters one 53 years old and the other 60 years old. Can they live in 55+ community?
Flag Sun Aug 7, 2016
LeeAnn Bell, Agent, Santa Clarita, CA
Sat Apr 16, 2016
Hi Maryam: Age 55+ communities allow residents ages 55+ to live in their communities. Sometimes a spouse can be aged 45+ but be sure to check with each community for their rules. Santa Clarita, CA has two beautiful adult only (ages 55+) gated communities. See my sites for details: and My very best to you! LeeAnn Bell ~ 661-309-2364
0 votes
Riveraconn10…, Home Buyer, Parsippany, NJ
Fri Jul 24, 2015
Are the 55 communities age-restricted? Will I be qualified to purchase a home even if I am less than 55?

My fiance has a house in a 55+ adult community and wonders if he could move in at the age of 53. Are there any laws against people moving in at his age?
0 votes
It's in New Jersey.
Flag Fri Jul 24, 2015
brianholden7…, Home Buyer, Pollock Pines, CA
Fri Jul 24, 2015
if my sister is 55 and is my care giver can i live in a 55 plus only mobile home park
0 votes
if my sister is 55 and im disabled and53 can i live with her
Flag Fri Jul 24, 2015
Visparkle, Home Buyer, Westlake Village, CA
Wed May 13, 2015
I live in California, I am 69 and the other person living with me is 76. We bought the house we live in (a senior community) together and the deed was in both our names. We paid cash for the house. We have lived in the house 9 years. Three years ago she quit claimed her part of the house to me for personal reasons.. Recently the HOA told us she could not live there . We sent the deed transactions as well as a letter stating our living trust wills state that should one of us dies the other can live there as long as they want.. Is this legal and am I not allowed on have someone live with me as long as they meet the age requirement 55+?
0 votes
Seems to me u are in the right my ques is whether or not my spouse who is under 55 would be kicked out if I died??
Flag Sat Apr 30, 2016
Tracy, Home Buyer, 03301
Mon Jan 13, 2014
Some will allow under 55 due to the 20 percent rule. My brother and his girlfriend are 42 and live in one.
0 votes
Barry Shapiro, Agent, Camarillo, CA
Mon Dec 9, 2013
In CA you can BUY (own) any home at age 18 or over. Living in it is a different story than who is on title, though.
0 votes
Kevin and Ju…, Agent, Wildomar, CA
Mon Dec 2, 2013
Most 55+ communities require only residents to fit the age criteria. Owning the property and renting it out to age appropriate folks should be fine. Check with the HOA and your lender.
0 votes
carolinaspri…, , Carrboro, NC
Fri Nov 22, 2013
can a disable child live with parent in a 55 plus community
0 votes
Scott Gerrie, Agent, Cathedral City, CA
Sun Sep 29, 2013
NOand you can't park in a handicapped parking if you are not handicapped.
0 votes
Sir I do believe you are wrong on both answers.With the Hopa 80/20 percent rule. Also you are allowed to park in a handicap parking space as long as you are transporting a handicap individual. Please do some research before you write the wrong information .Thank you
Flag Fri Jan 1, 2016
Irina Karan, Agent, Aventura, FL
Sat Sep 28, 2013
Most will allow one person 55+ with the 2nd person, if any, under age of 55.

Hope this helps,

Irina Karan
Beachfront Realty, Inc.
0 votes
mariesmail40, Home Owner, Livingston, CA
Tue Aug 27, 2013
i purchased a home in a 55 and older and my husband an i an't 55 i signed a lease for 5 years thinking it was for a year. my question is sense we are not 55 is the lease still valid?
0 votes
i am interested
Flag Mon Mar 23, 2015
falkman98, Home Owner, Cathedral City, CA
Mon May 20, 2013
Does a park owner have to display a sign stating that this property is a 55+ community?
0 votes
James M. Uda…, Agent, Cathedral City, CA
Tue May 24, 2011
Despite the cushions described below, it is likely that the HOA or management company will deny your application for residency in the 55 or better community for which you are applying. Age is easily verifiable and I am sure the community's application has a box for date of birth right at the top of the page. You may have to wait to play Bocchi Ball... :) Good Luck, James M. udall 760.250.1986
0 votes
Elizabeth Sc…, Agent, Palm Desert, CA
Wed Mar 30, 2011
I think John's answer is the most complete answer you are going to find. I know that my parents live in CC at a 55+ community and they did have to get accepted by the Management company of the community before being able to complete their purchase. So chances are the management company is going to want proof that at least one resident is 55 or over.
0 votes
I had to provide a copy of my drivers license as proof of being over 55 to rent my house.
Flag Sun Aug 23, 2015
Spirit Messi…, Agent, Tucson, AZ
Tue Mar 29, 2011
Yes they are age restricted. Thus the name 55+ community. Qualifying for a purchase has nothing to do with it that is between you and the lender. The HOA and CC&Rs will step in if you are not 55, please talk with a local agent or Realtor so that they can properly educate you on this. Some buyers think the HOA rules and regulations will not apply to them, even opting to go to court over it. They will lose and it will save you a lot of money to find other housing.

Best of luck.
0 votes
Ryan Smith, Agent, Murrieta, CA
Tue Mar 29, 2011
Hello Maryam, most of the 55+ communities require the buyer to be 55+. I've helped couples buy in a 55+ where the husband was 55+, but the wife was younger. This was okay because at least one of the buyers was 55+. I would check with the specific community you're interested in.

Good luck!
Web Reference:
0 votes
My brother, age 54, was a caregiver to my father, who just passed away in a 55+ mobile home park. The park has given him 2 weeks to get out even though the space rent is paid for the month. Does he have the right to live there longer?
Flag Sat Jan 11, 2014
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