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55 and Older Communities Rules FAQ


55+ communities can be incredibly attractive places to move when you’ve reached – or are getting close to – retirement age. You may, however, not fully understand how these communities work. You might have questions about 55 and older communities rules, including questions about how they operate and who can live in the communities. Fortunately, you are far from the first to have those questions – and the information you seek is waiting for you.

Typical 55 and older communities rules and FAQ


As you might expect, it’s common for people to have questions about 55 and older communities rules. Fortunately, there are plenty of answers for those who are considering moving. If you’re looking for more information about the communities or for quick answers to help you make up your mind about a move, don’t fret – these frequently asked questions may provide the answers for which you are looking.

Related: The Guide to Active Adult Communities in Arizona


What is a 55 and Older Community?


A 55 and Older Community is a specific type of community created under local ordinances. These communities require that at least one person over the age of 55 lives in the home, often with requirements that people under a certain age may not live in the home. These communities are located all across the country, though the earliest communities were actually founded in Arizona. These communities are not retirement homes, but rather communities that are marketed towards active adults who are looking to spend their later working or retirement years around their peers.


55 and older communities rules


Do you have to be older than 55 to live in a 55 and Older Community?


You don’t have to be over fifty-five to live in a 55+ community. You do, however, have to have at least one person in your home who is over the age of fifty. In most communities, the rules will state a minimum age of residents, usually over the age of eighteen. This means that while you may not have to be over fifty-five to live in the area, you will certainly have to be over a certain age and that you’ll need to have a family member over the age of fifty-five living in your home. The vast majority of residents in these communities are, however, over the age of fifty-five.


Can a disabled person under 55 live in a 55+ community?


Yes! In fact, many 55+ communities are built with those who have difficulty moving around in mind. Many communities have assisted living facilities within their bounds, and some even have skilled nursing facilities available. There’s nothing stopping an adult over the age of fifty-five from moving to these communities, even if he or she requires full-time care. So long as you meet the age requirements and can afford to live in the community, disabilities are no barrier to entry.


What is the Housing for Older Persons Act?


The Housing for Older Persons Act is the law that regulated 55+ communities. This is the law that states that at least one person in the home must be over the age of fifty-five. The law was written to ensure that people over the age of fifty-five would be able to create and maintain these communities without being forced out by younger residents. The limitation only requiring a single resident over the age of fifty-five was likely designed to allow spouses who have an age difference to live in the same community.


Can a child live in a 55+ community?


Children are generally not allowed to live in most 55+ communities. While there are likely a few communities that don’t have a lower age limit, most have it within the community bylaws that all residents must be over the age of eighteen. In many cases, there are even limits on how often a person under the age of eighteen can stay in the community, usually limited to a handful of weeks per year depending on the 55 and older communities rules.


55 and older communities rules


Are there fees for living in an active adult community?


While there are rarely fees for living in the community as a whole, there are almost always HOA fees or condo fees for living in the individual neighborhoods that make up the community. There may also be specific fees for having access to golf courses or for using recreational facilities, but these are generally covered by the HOA fees. In smaller neighborhoods, the HOA fee and the fee for living in the community may be one and the same.


Can I pay lower HOA fees if I don’t want to use the amenities?


Living in a 55+ community means being a part of a community. As such, all residents are given access to the community’s amenities. This means, though, that you will have to pay your HOA fees regardless of whether you choose to use those facilities. This is actually something that works out better for the community, as it helps to ensure that facilities are maintained and that those who love using them don’t have to pay an unfair share of the costs even when everyone is allowed equal use. HOA fees are set by the individual neighborhoods within the community and thus will not be lowered for any single individual.


Can my family members use the amenities?


55 and older communities rules vary when it comes to who can use the amenities and what steps they must take to do so. If your family members live with you, they’ll absolutely be allowed to use the facilities when they wish. Things can be a little more difficult for visitors. In some communities, the visitors can be given a pass that will allow them to use the facilities on their own. In other communities, the visitor must be accompanied by the resident. It’s always a good idea to check with the community manager or with a member of the HOA to figure out what your guests will have to do when they visit as well as any fees they may have to pay.


55 and older communities rules


Moving to 55+ Communities


These are only a handful of the most common questions asked about 55 and older communities rules, but they reveal a great deal of information. The more you learn about these communities, the more obvious it may become that such a community is a good fit for you. While there might be a few new rules to navigate, the benefits of moving to such a community are beyond compare. If you’re ready to start looking for a new home in one of these communities, make sure to visit CENTURY21 Northwest for more information about homes for sale.


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