Full details are made available once you are ready to proceed. However, in the interim we are providing an article prepared by an independent and very experienced lawyer Mr. Ron Crane. Mr. Crane has worked on several life lease projects across the province and prepared this article while he was a senior partner at Coutts Crane Ingram in Toronto. He is now working in the Midland office of the legal firm Hacker, Gignac and Rice that is involved in a life lease project for the francophone community in Lafontaine, Ontario.
What is SAHIL?
Stay At Home In Leaside Corporation (SAHIL) owns 18 apartment units in a four storey building at 1387 Bayview Ave. in Toronto. The original intent of the committee that started in 1995 was to conceptualize, develop and construct this wonderful Life Lease community. The building was completed and move-in ready for occupancy as of September 1999. The building provides underground parking, above ground parking and visitor parking, as well as a common room enjoyed by everyone, a workshop, exercise equipment, outdoor patio, and a lovely garden. Each apartment at SAHIL includes en-suite laundry, a parking space and a locker.
The apartment units are leased on a Life Lease basis to people: who are at least 60 years of age; are capable of independent living; and become members of the Corporation by paying a one-time fee of $25. Members pay a monthly maintenance fee which covers the maintaining of the building, its public areas, and water consumption. For each apartment unit, gas and electricity are individually metered, and the provision of telephone service, cable or satellite television are the responsibility of the resident. Municipal taxes are levied on the building as a whole, but are allocated to individual residents on a square footage basis. The resident has the exclusive use of the particular unit as well as the shared use of all common areas and facilities.
What is Life Lease?
Life Lease is a method of home ownership in which a corporation owns the apartment units but leases them for the lifetime of the member. Members do not own the freehold of the property, but purchase the right to occupy the unit for their lifetime. They pay to the Corporation a monthly maintenance fee. The purchase and sale of a Right to Occupy is guided by the market value of property of similar quality in the neighbourhood, but the Corporation withholds a redemption fee of 5% of the sale price.
How does a Life Lease property differ from a Condominium?
In a condominium you own the property. In a Life Lease arrangement, ownership and title of the apartment unit remain in the name of the non-profit corporation, and the member has exclusive use of the unit for the his or her lifetime. A Life Lease allows the Corporation to restrict occupancy to people who are at least 60 years of age, whereas no such restriction is possible in a condominium.
How do I/we purchase a unit?
A prospective purchaser becomes a member of the Corporation by paying a fee of $25 and must be at least 60 years of age, and capable of independent living. In the case of a couple at least one member must meet the age requirement. Purchase of a Right to Occupy is handled as a normal real estate transaction but the purchaser's membership application must also be approved by the Corporation.
How do I/we sell a unit?
You inform the Corporation of your desire to terminate your occupancy and give sixty days notice. The Corporation will then sell the Right to Occupy for a price that reflects the selling price for units of similar quality in the neighbourhood but the asking price will be largely your decision. The Corporation withholds a redemption fee of 5% of the selling price and pays the remainder to you. The prospective purchaser must apply for membership in, and be approved by, the Corporation.
What is included in the purchase price?
The purchase price grants you the exclusive right to occupy the unit for your lifetime as well as the shared use of all common area and facilities. As a member of the Corporation you have the right to attend and vote at all meetings of the Corporation including the Annual General Meeting.
What ongoing costs would I/we have?
These would include Municipal Taxes; gas and electricity costs; cable or satellite television costs; telephone; repair and/or replacement of dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave oven, clothes washer and drier; and painting and decorating of the interior of your unit.
Do I receive an annual financial statement showing Bethel Green's operating costs?
An audited financial statement of Bethel Green's financial position is provided to each member at the Annual General Meeting.
Can any physical changes be made to the unit?
If you wish to make physical changes to your unit, you apply to the Corporation for permission to do so. Permission may be granted at the sole discretion of the Corporation which will consider such factors as existing municipal by-laws and building codes, the effect on the value of the building, and the effect of the proposed changes on neighbouring members. If permission is granted, the cost of the changes is your responsibility and the alterations and additions become the property of the Corporation.
Are there any occupancy restrictions?
Members are required to abide by the terms of the Right to Occupy Agreement which include the normal courtesies of respecting the privacy and quiet enjoyment of the other members.
Can I/we sub-let the unit?
Sub-letting is not permitted.
Can I/we sell the unit at any time?
You can sell at any time by giving notice to the Corporation of your wish to terminate your Right to Occupancy.
What happens when my/our health no longer permits me/us to live there?
To live at Bethel Green you must be capable of independent living as there are no facilities for assisted living. If you become incapacitated either physically or mentally to the extent that long term relocation to a hospital or other medical or nursing home, in the opinion of the Corporation and the member's family physician or other qualified medical person, becomes necessary the Corporation may terminate the Right to Occupy Agreement.
What other amenities are there?
SAHIL is located in the Davisville Village area of Toronto with its beautiful tree lined streets and individual gardens. It is in close proximity to a wide variety of shops that provide for most of your needs and include supermarket, butchers, fresh fish, and several bakeries. The public library is ten minutes walk, and the Leaside Pool provides for swimming. Bus service is at the corner of Millwood and Bayview and runs to the subway with frequent service.