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News & Knowledge

Florida Fair Housing Act Amendment Removes Requirement to Register and Renew “55 and Over” Communities

October 29, 2020

By: Daniel McIntosh & Emmett Egger

The Florida Legislature recently amended the Florida Fair Housing Act by removing regulatory requirements imposed on age-restricted communities.

Real estate developers have developed hundreds of age-restricted communities in Florida. This comes as no surprise as these types of communities appeal to retirees and provide developers with an opportunity to save a significant amount on development costs due to reduced impact fees being payable in connection with these developments (e.g., school impact fees, transportation impact fees).

However, there is a drawback. In order to operate an age-restricted community – such as a community intended to house persons 55 years of age or older – the community must comply with both the Federal Fair Housing Act and the Florida Fair Housing Act. Complying with these Acts can be burdensome, and a community’s failure to qualify exposes developers and associations to civil penalties. For a more comprehensive summary on qualifying as an age-restricted community, please view our previous post.

This year, the Florida Legislature removed the requirement that age-restricted communities initially register with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and then biennially thereafter. These communities and developers welcomed this change as they are no longer required to submit certain documentation, pay a registration fee, and make representations regarding the community’s compliance with the Federal and Florida Fair Housing Acts.

If you are considering imposing age restrictions on who can reside in your community, we recommend you contact a lawyer to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal law.

This article is informational only. You should consult an attorney before acting or failing to act. The law may change rapidly and no warranty is given. LOWNDES DISCLAIMS ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. ALL ARTICLES ARE PROVIDED AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS. Consult a Lowndes attorney if you wish to establish an attorney/client relationship.

Destined to become a lawyer, Dan is a Central Florida native surrounded by more than a handful of lawyers among his relatives – including his dad who was the City Attorney for a number of Central Florida cities and public entities, siblings, cousins, in-laws, and even children. But first Dan wanted to explore the ski slopes of the “wild west” after attending Duke University and before returning to his southern roots to attend the University of Florida Law School. While in college, Dan worked in high-end retail and as a rodman on a survey crew. With this surveying experience behind him, Dan ultimately found his passion in real estate law.

With a focus on business trends, Dan has successfully guided some of the most recognizable Central Florida companies through multi-site, multi-jurisdictional real estate acquisitions, financings, and dispositions. He advises clients on acquisition, leasing and financing, title review and survey analysis, environmental issues and zoning, with attention to every detail of these transactions – from document preparation, review of title commitments, endorsements and coverages, surveys, and closing statements, and all the negotiating and documentation in between. Clients include owners and lenders of shopping centers, retail stores, restaurants, gasoline and convenience stores, golf courses, ski resorts, hotels, and condominium properties.

In addition, Dan has negotiated and closed hundreds of high end residential transactions on sites throughout the southeast.

As a real estate leader in the firm, Dan’s mission has included building and mentoring efficient teams committed to the clients’ business success, echoed in his commitment to his community. A resident of Winter Park for many years, Dan has served in leadership roles on many civic, church, and charitable boards. A graduate and long-time participant in the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program, Dan served as its alumni association president, wrote its initial by-laws, and was a recipient of its Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Community Leader Award. His leadership role on the Winter Park Library Board is helping to bring the City’s vision of a new library and events center to life in Martin Luther King Park. Dan is also a past president of the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and has been a member of its Board for over 20 years.

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