An Overview of Home Ownership
Ownership of an adult lifestyle home of your choice is one of the most important decisions you will make as you enter your retirement years. While there is no need for you to take a course in the legal aspects of home ownership, here are a few examples to keep in mind.
1) Fee Simple
Commonly known as Freehold. This means you own the building and the land on which it sits. It means you are responsible for the upkeep, realty taxes, utilities, and any future legal liabilities such ownership entails.
In Ontario, a condominium is a corporation incorporated under The Condominium Act, 1988, and ownership is divided between the condominium and its units. The use of the land owned by the condominium corporation (called the common elements) is shared among the unit owners unless an exclusive use has been granted to a specific unit. This might be a balcony, front or back yard, driveway or parking area. In a multi-story building, elevators and hallway would common elements.
Units owners vote to elect a Board of Directors who manage the condominium, and pay a monthly amount called common expenses. The amount collected is used for the annual operating costs plus a reserve for future repairs.
Co-operatives in Ontario are corporations incorporated under the Co-operative Corporations Act, and are share capital business corporations carried on for the benefit of the members, who own membership shares in the corporation.
Careful reading and understanding of the constitution of any individual co-operative is essential to determine which rights and obligations the resident will have.
4) Leased land
In this type of community, the residents have no control over the land, except the right of possession granted under the lease agreement. In a sub-division style community, the developer leases a lot to a tenant who builds a house whose design is often covered by limitations to have control over ow the community will look.
A Life Lease community is a special circumstance of a leased land community, and each one may be different. The rights of the life tenant and landlord are set out in the life lease agreement governed by existing landlord and tenant law.
These comments do not constitute specific legal advice and are for general guidance only. Professional legal advice is essential to ensure potential buyers have a full understanding of all the terms and conditions as they apply to their eventual purchase.