Understanding Life Lease

What is a Life Lease Facility?

There are generally three types of Life Lease Projects:


1.   A life lease is a rental agreement that includes an initial payment (entrance fee) which is returnable on termination of the lease. The rental lease agreement is between the tenant and a non-profit organization with a monthly rent payment that will be based on the proportionate share of the Operating expenses, Capital expenses and Debt Servicing costs. A Life Lease tenant has access to the lease for life, subject to legislation and regulations under the Life Lease Act and, Residential Tenancies Act and an individual lease agreement. Some form of reimbursement for upgrades in their suite may exist but availability and amounts vary from one facility to another.


Note other types:


2.  There are "for profit Life Lease facilities. Only certain portions of The Life Leases Act apply to these types of Life Leases and other portions not covered by The Life Lease Act is covered under The Residential Tenancies Act.


3.   Market Value Life Lease Facility is where the tenant owns the assignable lease portion but does not own any part of the real property and may only sell the assignable lease for consideration at fair market value subject to the lease agreement. In most cases the lease owner may renovate the suite subject to building requirements and city codes and by-laws and may require permits before renovating. Market Value gives the tenant the opportunity to sell the assignable lease on the market and recapture the renovation costs and even make a profit. This is based on markets at the time and may also incur a loss if markets are poor. The tenant is usually also responsible for the rent until the lease is sold and assigned to a new tenant.

What a Life Lease Facility is not.

Regardless of whether the life lease is a non-profit rental, or for profit rental or fair market value rental, a life lease is not a condominium. A Life Lease tenant does not own their accommodation or any part of the real property. No interest is paid on the initial entrance fee. Some form of reimbursement for upgrades in the suite may be available. The existence of reimbursements for such upgrades and the amount available varies from one facility to another. Life Leases are governed by the Life Lease Act and the Residential Tenancies Act for the lease and rental aspects of the Project.



What is Life Lease Living?


  • The leasing of an apartment and sharing a piece of land and buildings. (known as common elements)
  • Sharing the cost of maintaining the common elements through rent.
  • Sharing the cost of debt servicing such as mortgage, loans and line of credit.

What are Common Elements?

  • ​There are different types of common elements.
  • Common to all such as hallways, recreational room (if any) yards and green space, roadways etc.
  • Exclusive use to tenant such as the apartment (living space), balconies, parking stalls (and garages in some cases).
  • Restricted areas such as utility and mechanical rooms.

​​​What does sharing costs mean?

  • ​Paying for all expenses that are incurred by the Corporation to maintain and service all of the common elements through the collection of what is known as rent.

What does rent include?

  • Common fees as a proportionate share of operating cost as defined in the documents and lease agreement. This is for items such as: utilities, insurance, lawn care, snow removal, window cleaning, janitorial, appliance maintenance etc.
  • Extra fees are charged to tenants for use of exclusive common elements such as parking based on number of parking spaces and type, (such as serviced or non-serviced and whether inside or outside).
  • Reserve Fund fees. This is for future capital and major expenditures such as roof repairs, building envelope, window replacement, asphalt paving, sewer lines. Items for each Corporation may vary depending on each Life Lease and how may amenities it provides to tenants.
  • Debt Servicing. This is to pay for mortgage, loans and line of credit.


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