Senior Communities and Age Restrictions

Senior communities offer active, elderly residents a safe place to live and plenty of relevant and enjoyable activities. Understanding who can live in the neighborhood and any rules regarding short and long-term visitors who do not meet the community’s guidelines can help you avoid problems with both the Home Owners Association (HOA) and neighbors.

Neighborhoods that provide plenty of recreation options for seniors are also appealing to visiting family members and grandkids. If you love golf, swimming, gardening, and tennis, then your children and grandkids will probably enjoy these activities, too. Most HOAs welcome children and grandkids on a temporary basis; some communities even offer kid-friendly activities in the summer months to accommodate visitors. While virtually all over-55 senior communities welcome temporary visitors, most have strict covenants regarding long-term stays. Learning more about your neighborhood’s rules can help you plan family time and still avoid run-ins with your HOA. Most communities allow visits of up to 30 days; some extend to 90 days or beyond.

Grandchildren and Visiting

If you love hosting your grandchildren for overnight visits or for summer vacation, you will find yourself in good company in an active senior community. If your visit is taking place during a typical school vacation week, check to see if your neighborhood offers any kid-friendly activities during this time. Prior to the visit, you should also familiarize yourself with any rules regarding pools and kids; your community pool may restrict children to certain times or days of the week.

Adult Children with Special Needs

Most senior communities allow adult children that have special or developmental needs to live on site with their parents. If you are considering making a move to a community and have a minor or adult child that won’t be able to live on his own, find out exactly what you need to do to get an exception to the ‘over 55’ rule.

Most communities for seniors actually have a percentage of slots available for permanent residents under the age of 55. These spaces are set aside specifically for the people with disabilities who depend on their elderly parents. Minor children without disabilities who are living permanently with grandparents may qualify as well, provided the seniors have legal and physical custody and meet the guidelines set by the HOA.

Inherited Property

The same rule that allows disabled and dependent adults to live in a senior community with their caregivers may also be used to allow ownership of inherited property by adult children. If you wish to leave your property to one of your children, you can, but you should review your HOA’s rules regarding the transfer of property to someone under 55. In some cases, your adult child can own the property and occupy it; in others, they can own but can’t move in until they meet a specific age requirement.