Firm Announcement and Condo Q & A

  • Levine & Bazelon, S.C.  It has a nice to ring to it, don’t you think?

 

  • Pushing out the widow because she is young: A lawyer’s mistake causes pain.

 

Thank you for reading Condo Q&A®….Let’s get started.

 

  • Levine & Bazelon, S.C.  It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

 

Mind if we brag for just a moment?  Adam Bazelon has been elected a shareholder of the firm.  If you know him, you are not surprised.  Adam’s talent and commitment, and the loyalty to and from his clients, required this promotion.  Adam makes this law firm stronger, and we are very pleased that he is here to stay.

 

Congratulations, Adam.

 

  • Pushing out the widow because she is young: A lawyer’s mistake causes pain.

Q: My husband died seven months ago.  Now I live alone. But my condo association wants to evict me because I am under the age of 55.  This cannot be legal, can it?  Signed, Mary

A: Mary, we read your documents, and they require you to vacate. While you may be able to persuade a judge to let you stay, this was a lawyer’s drafting mistake and this is a pretty outrageous outcome.

Your condominium, like many, has a special provision which allows the condo to restrict occupancy in the community to persons over the age of 55.  Your husband was over 55, you are not.

The law (called HOPA – Housing for Older Persons Act) has several requirements.  One is that at least eighty percent of the units must have an occupant over the age of 55.  And so, the developer’s lawyer dutifully drafted a covenant providing that “at least 80 percent” of the units must be occupied by at least one person over the age of 55.  Now, there is no one in your household over the age of 55 and 80 percent of the units no longer have an over-55 occupant.  Stated another way, on the death of your husband, your Association fell out of compliance with HOPA.

Even though the law requires only 80 percent over-55 occupancy, lawyers should draft documents requiring 100 percent over-55 occupancy.  The twenty percent over the statutory minimum should be reserved for special cases:  people such as yourself, the widows, widowers and children of persons over the age of 55.  We wish you good luck, and you must get your own lawyer!

 

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