The Life Lease Concept
THE EMERGING LIFESTYLE OPTION FOR TODAY'S SENIOR
Life Lease housing developments have been around for many years in Ontario and Canada and more recently have become increasingly popular with the rapidly expanding seniors population. Today’s Life Lease housing developments are meeting the challenges faced by a great number of seniors. The home in which they raised their family is now too large. Interior and exterior maintenance is beginning to be too much to manage. The two storey design is no longer suited to their present physical needs with stairs up and stairs down. Although the property where they raised their family once perfectly suited their needs, it is now becoming a burden and a constant source of frustration.
Another challenge is the changes which may have taken place in the neighbourhood; good friends and family have moved away, there is less companionship and fewer neighbours to rely on in the case of a problem or emergency. Given these and many other social and economic demands, seniors are looking for a housing option which reduces their worry and offers security and peace of mind, all in a community of shared values and lifestyles. For many, Life Lease housing developments have come to their rescue.
There are many variations of Life Leases, just as there are different forms of other types of ownership. Life Lease developments offer the owner a leasehold form of ownership versus condominiums or single family homes which offer the owner a freehold form of ownership. Properly structured, both forms of ownership offer similar protection for the owners. For example, Life Leases can be registered on title to the property the same as a deed can be registered on a condominium or detached house. This registration protects the interests of the owner.
Life Leases permit the owners more control than a traditional condominium since the future sale or transfer of the life interest must be approved by the owners. This control is especially important in a mature adult community where owners prefer to live with people of their own age and who share common interests.
The owner of a Life Lease has the exclusive right to occupy the suite they select and to use the common facilities of a development for as long as they desire or are able. These owners purchase their lease, normally at market value, similar to the purchasing a home or condominium. Once the owner takes possession of their suite, they would pay a monthly fee, similar to a condo fee, which represents the owner’s share of common costs including interior and exterior maintenance, management, insurance etc.
When the owner, or their estate, wish to sell or transfer their lease, they receive the market value of their suite, similar to a condominium or detached home. Therefore, it is the “market” that determines what the leasehold ownership or life lease is worth. Further, to ensure that Aldersgate Village continues to be a community of seniors who share common interests, there are certain restrictions on future sales or transfers of the life lease. One such condition is that future owners of the life lease interest must be approved by Aldersgate Garden Homes Inc.
For more general information about Life Lease, please click here to view the Ontario Life Lease Housing Resource Guide.