Changes in the Law for “55 and Older” Communities

25 Jun 2021

Florida Law governing “55 and Older” Communities, which Communities are permitted to exist under exceptions to the Federal and Florida Fair Housing Acts (Chapter 760.20), has been revised.  The revisions to the Statute no longer require a “55 and Older” Community to file bi-annual reports to the Florida Commission on Human Relations, nor the payment of a registration fee.

This change in the law, and specifically in Chapter 760.29(4), means that, if a Community qualifies as a “55 and Older” Community, there is no requirement to submit reports to the State of Florida, as to the status of your Community.  However, it must be noted that the State and Federal Statutes still require a “55 and Older” Community to adhere to the requirements and regulations that remain in effect under both Federal and State Law.

The basic requirements for a “55 and Older” Community remain unaffected: that is, that at least 80% of the occupied units are occupied (but not necessarily owned) by at least one person 55 years of age or older.  The Community may restrict residency by persons 18 years of age or younger.

A “55 and Older” Community must still comply with the Rules established by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and comply with Regulations requiring the Community to verify, by conducting reliable surveys or obtaining affidavits from the residents, that the Community has maintained its status as a “55 and Older Community,” by having 80% occupancy by persons over 55.  It is important the Community retain copies of these Affidavits or Surveys, showing compliance with the Federal Rules and Regulations.

A “55 and Older Community” must also remain vigilant in ensuring the Community meets the occupancy requirement and compliance requirements under both Federal and State Law for such Communities, so as to maintain its status.