The Life Lease Concept


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.

"This is how communities build communities. It will be a vibrant, affordable community which is not dependent on government housing programs, but on our own communities resources, services and support. We’re offering Aldersgate Garden Homes to Belleville residents under a Life Lease plan because it’s an affordable and attractive alternative to
what is now available to seniors."

Rev. Walter Jewell, Chair, Aldersgate Homes Inc.

Statistics indicate that seniors move an average of 3.2 times during their retirement years. Senior households over the age of 50 face a move from a single family home to a condominium or apartment, to a retirement home and sometimes to a nursing home. Life Leases are ideally suited for providing housing to our aging population who may be quite independent today but may require support services tomorrow.

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..

Life Lease residents have a leasehold interest
the exclusive right to occupy the suite of their choice;
and shared use of the common areas.

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.

Life Lease projects look like condominium projects, with similar suite sizes, features and monthly fees, however, there is only one owner registered on title to the property. In most cases, this owner is a not-for-profit or charitable organization, which continues to own and manage the project to ensure that the life lease owners’ interests are maintained. These organizations are referred to as the sponsor group. Sponsor groups of Life Lease developments have included churches, multi-cultural groups, nursing and retirement home operators, service clubs and municipalities. Actual ownership and title of the Life Lease development remains in the name and protection of these non-profit organizations which ensures high quality management and long-term maintenance benefits for all residents.

Life Lease housing can be closely compared to condominium ownership in terms of investment return, security of tenure, and resident participation in the management of the project. However, Life Lease projects have the added benefit of greater control over membership and lower costs. The organizational structure of Life Lease projects allows residents to have input into the management and operation of the building. Life Lease housing gives you the convenience and freedom of private independent living today with the option of homemaking and care services in the future.

"Life Lease buildings, are still principally built by non-profit organizations such
as churches and legions, with the advantage that they are restricted to those over
55 and built to suit specific needs. Many existing rental and condominium accommodations
do not offer barrier-free or age-in place features."
Ottawa Forever Young, January 2001

145 Front Street East, Suite 302, Toronto, Ontario M5A 1E3 • (416) 367-2917
Leaders in Life Lease Residential Developments
Life Lease Associates of Canada, a division of 3220605 Canada Inc.
The production or reproduction in any material form whatever of the contents of this document in whole or in part without the express written authorization of Life Lease Associates of Canada is strictly prohibited.

home | about us | photo tour | contact us | site map
© 2002 Aldersgate Village, 7 Aldersgate Dr., Belleville, ON K8P 4W9
Site Designed & Powered by OSM Graphics.