The Concept of Life Lease

As the population ages, housing for seniors can become as critical as health care. The upkeep of the single family residence often becomes onerous. Seniors seek alternative accommodation such as the rental of an apartment or the purchase of a condominium unit where maintenance is the responsibility of a Landlord or Condominium Corporation. But rents are subject to increase year after year and a condominium unit may be difficult to sell if the need arises. Into the mix of choices for accommodation for seniors has been introduced the concept of the `Life Lease'.

A life lease is defined by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation as a legal agreement that permits the purchaser of a dwelling unit to occupy that unit for life in exchange for a lump sum prepayment and monthly fees.

Life lease is an innovative way to ensure mature adults can live in comfortable and affordable housing throughout their retirement years, but without the responsibilities that accompany home ownership. Residents purchase the "right to occupy" their unit often based on the bottom line cost to construct it. Occupants have the exclusive use of their suites and an opportunity for capital appreciation - the same benefits as home ownership. You can sell your townhome at any time and any capital appreciation is yours, less an agreed upon selling fee. Waiting lists for available units will be kept by the Home, so when a townhouse comes up for sale, potential buyers can be contacted. The only restriction is that the new occupant must also be 55 years or older.

In summary, United Mennonite Home retains ownership of all this property in order to ensure that only seniors occupy the townhomes and that the quality of the community is maintained. Occupants buy the "right to occupy" a townhome by paying a lump sum payment and can sell this leasehold interest at any time and any capital appreciation is yours.