PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A Phoenix attorney is weighing on a story we first broke on Monday about a Prescott retirement community's HOA decision to force a teen orphan out of his grandparent's home because he's too young.
The HOA told us they could not make an exception and let the teenager stay. Attorney Jonathan Dessaules told us they could legally make an exception and let him stay.
"This is egregious," said Dessaules. Dessaules has worked cases against HOAs for more than 15 years. He couldn't believe a senior living community, the Gardens at Willow Creek's HOA, would force a teen orphan out of his grandparent's home.
"It offends me as a human being," said Dessaules.
Melodie Passmore and her husband, who own the home, took in their 15-year-old grandson Collin Clabaugh last year in California after his mother died in the hospital, and two weeks later, his father committed suicide.
"It breaks my heart," said Claubaugh.
Jason Miller, the attorney for the HOA, told us, "Generally, associations that fail to enforce their residency age restrictions leave themselves open to legal claims from other residents and could even endanger the ability of the association to remain an age-restricted community."
"In Arizona law, it says that the requirement is 80% of the homes have to maintain, have to comply with the age restriction so there's a 20% buffer and it sounds like to me this would be the only exception in that community," Dessaules said.
In response to this story, Miller said they're working with the Passmores to resolve the issue. Miller told us you have to be 19 at minimum to live there. Claubaugh is 15. His grandparents said they'll sell their home before Clabaugh gets kicked out in June.