HOA seeks to oust orphan from age-restricted neighborhood

HOA grandparents grandson

Image from KOLD.com (News 13), Tucson, Arizona


A fifteen year-old California lad lost both of his parents last year. Collin Claybaugh’s mother, Bonnie, died in the hospital from a long-term illness. And his father, Clay, took his own life two weeks later.

What do good able-bodied grandparents do in this situation besides grieve the loss of their children? They take in their grandson, of course. That’s what Randy and Melodie Passmore did. The Passmores are both in their 70’s and live on a small pension plus social security. They own their home in The Gardens at Willow Creek, a 55-plus community in Prescott, Arizona.

The age restriction apparently has a limited exception for residents who are 19 years of age and older. But a 15-year old boy is definitely not allowed by the rules.

The Passmores received a letter from the homeowners’ association advising them that Collin must move out. The letter said that the board must balance the interests of all parties involved, not just the Passmores. The HOA board said they are concerned that if they fail to enforce the age restriction, they could endanger the ability for the development to remain an age-restricted community.

The Passmores’ only alternative is to sell their home and move, which they believe will be difficult considering their age and financial position. They do not have funds to mount a legal battle.

My husband and I would love to downsize at this point in our lives, and we would be interested in living in a community where the exterior and grounds are maintained by someone else. But this story convinces me to stay clear of age-restricted communities.

How do you think this story would play out from a legal standpoint in South Carolina?

5 thoughts on “HOA seeks to oust orphan from age-restricted neighborhood

  1. prconcerns

    Unfortunately, if covenants state that he cannot live there, then one must follow covenants. However, this case maybe a little different based on the circumstances. The minor, grandson, more then likely (as well as the grandparents) are in a stage of mourning. The circumstances certainly are not pleasant. In away, this grandson should take the position that he is also now a “caregiver” for his grandparents. If they had an emotional support dog, that is ok — instead they have a “emotional support” person and that is not ok?


  2. Valerie

    I think the option of moving is a very practical and viable one. In this robust economy, no matter your age or income, it’s pretty easy to sell your home and find another that fits your needs and situation. And it sounds like they have an able-bodied young man to help them with the moving! Sometimes we grow out of our communities. Very sad situation nonethelsss.


  3. Tommy

    I’d love to be in such a priviledged position to believe that anyone can easily move based upon a “robust economy” and just knowing an “able-bodied” 15 year old.


  4. Freda Goodstein

    I am sickened by HOA I appreciate the rules regarding age limitations however there must always be shades of gray. And to remove this couple from their home is outrageous .
    This needs to go to every television station and to the senior facility where they live


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