On January 1, 2023, the federal government enacted legislation to prohibit non-Canadians from buying “residential property” in Canada. The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act, S.C. 2022, c. 10, s.235 will continue to be in effect for two years.
What is “Residential Property”?
The Act and Regulation defines “residential property”as any real property or immovable, other than a prescribed real property or immovable (and the Regulation currently has prescribed that a property that is located in an area of Canada that is not within either a census agglomeration or a census metropolitan area is a prescribed real property or immovable), that is situated in Canada and that is:
- (a) a detached house or similar building, containing not more than three dwelling units, together with that proportion of the appurtenances to the building and the land subjacent or immediately contiguous to the building that is reasonably necessary for its use and enjoyment as a place of residence for individuals;
- (b) a part of a building that is a semi-detached house, rowhouse unit, residential condominium unit or other similar premises that is, or is intended to be, a separate parcel or other division of real property or immovable owned, or intended to be owned, apart from any other unit in the building, together with that proportion of any common areas and other appurtenances to the building and the land subjacent or immediately contiguous to the building that is attributable to the house, unit or premises and that is reasonably necessary for its use and enjoyment as a place of residence for individuals; or
- (c) any prescribed real property or immovable (and the Regulation has prescribed land that does not contain any habitable dwelling, that is zoned for residential use or mixed use, and that is located within a census agglomeration or a census metropolitan area, is a prescribed real property or immovable).
What Property is exempt from the Prohibition?
Pursuant to the Act and Regulation, a Non-Canadian is able to buy property outside of the census agglomeration and census metropolitan areas as defined in the Statistics Canada document entitled Standard Geographical Classification (SGC) 2021.
In the Niagara Region, Statistics Canada has identified West Lincoln as being outside of the census agglomerations and census metropolitan areas. Nearby Haldimand County is also outside of the census agglomerations and census metropolitan areas.
Non-Canadians would also be able to purchase property in the Niagara Region with four or more units.
There are also specific exemptions for specific situations. If you are a non-Canadian and wish to buy a residential property in the Niagara Region, or elsewhere in Ontario, contact one of our real estate lawyers for advice on how this new law may apply to you.
Article written by Sarah J. Draper and Sarah Farquharson.
The above should not be considered as legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please consult a lawyer at Daniel & Partners LLP to obtain advice based on your individual circumstances.