“55 and Over” HOA Seeking to Repeal “55 and Over” Status

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J.G. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

How do we repeal the over 55 designation for our community?

Mister Condo replies:

J.G., depending on the state and local government where your association is, you will have a series of legal actions and filings to make such a change. That is on top of the challenge of getting a majority or more of your current unit owners to agree to the change in the form of a vote. Further, if there are mortgages on any of your units within the community, the mortgage underwriters may also have a say in whether or not the association can change its designation. As you can see, there are many issues to consider and I would STRONGLY advise the association to seek legal counsel experienced in community association law before taking on such a major change. Keep in mind that the original documents establishing the community have legal ramifications that go beyond the current unit owners. I know of some municipal governments that are not eager to see general development of high-density housing like condominiums without the “55 and over” designation. This is because the “55 and over” demographic doesn’t burden the municipality with extra students for its schools. The demographic is also desirable because the “55 and over” market tends to be good taxpayers, many retirees who may be “snowbirds” that pay year-round taxes but do not require services from the municipality year-round. The municipality may not be interested in seeing the community convert its “55 and over” status. Like I said, there are many challenges awaiting you in this quest. Seek help before you undertake it. All the best!

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