D.S. and his daughter from New Haven County write:
Dear Mister Condo,
Hello. Is the board required to know your medical condition? I need my 53 year-old daughter to live with me in my 55+ over community. I have a doctor’s letter stating that I need my daughter to live with me for medical purposes. Does the condo board have the right to make me disclose my personal medical information? Thank you.
Dear Mister Condo,
My father lives in a 55+ community. I am his 53 year-old daughter who now lives with him due to his medical condition. The Board is trying to kick me out because I’m not 55. He supplied the board with a doctor’s note explaining that my dad needed me to live with him due to medical conditions. Does the board have a right to ask what the medical conditions are? Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
D.S. and daughter, thank you both for writing. For the life of me I cannot understand why the Board of Directors at a 55+ over community would make such a big deal about a 53 year-old woman living with her father under the advice of a physician. Even with no underlying medical condition there is only 24 months at maximum separating a 53 year-old from living in the community with no provisions allowed! Even if you provided no reason for living there and the association were to take legal action against you for doing so, my guess is that you would be of legal age by the time the case made it to court and the point would be moot! That being said, let’s see if we can’t get you an answer that makes everyone happy.
First off, I am not an attorney and cannot give you legal advice. My advice is friendly so please treat it as such. If you find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit from your association, please hire an attorney to represent your best interests. 55+ over communities routinely take action against anyone moving into their community who does not fit the age guidelines as agreed to when the units were built and sold. They do this to protect the integrity of the community and because their by-laws require that they do so. That being said, you will find many folks under the required age living in community associations for many reasons. Live-in companionship is chief among them and producing a doctor’s note without disclosing the actual illness should suffice the Board. If they wish to question the veracity of the doctor’s note, they are free to do so. That is an issue between the Board and your doctor and is usually handled by a letter from the association to the doctor requesting that the doctor verify the note. And that is usually the end of the story. The Board has no more right to know your medical condition than they do the color of your eyes. It doesn’t concern them. Enforcing the association’s covenants is their job and they are right to request documentation for why someone under the age of 55 is living on the property. Their concern is that if they do not enforce the rule with everyone, they will not be able to enforce the rule for any one. That being said, you would think that common sense would enter the picture and they would be a little more tolerant of a 53 year-old entering their community. This isn’t like a young family has moved in; this is just a loving family member moving in to care for a father who requires her attention. I am guessing you have enough on your plate to not have to deal with this foolishness. Send them the required doctor’s note. If they persist in trying to force either of you out of the community, hire a good attorney and bring forth a substantial lawsuit. This is exactly the type of villainous behavior that gives condo associations a bad reputation. I hope they see the error of their ways and leave you be. Good luck!