There are many laws which govern the real estate business in Canada. All the laws must be followed to the letter if you wish to ensure success in the business. Most of the laws apply to both the foreign and domestic investors. However, there are some particular laws which apply to only the foreign investors, including both the provincial and federal levels. This means that you need to be extra careful to ensure that you abide by all the laws if you are a foreign investor. Below is a simplified legal guide to the Canadian real estate.
Legal guide to real estate in Canada
The main laws in Canada, which governs real estate, are the statutes of the territorial government and the provincial government. There may be separate laws in different provinces, but they all have a basis on common law. Quebec is the only province that has an exception to this, as the law there is based on civil war.
Ownership may be restricted to non-residents by the federal laws like the Competition Act and Investment Canada Act as well as the provincial laws. There are some provinces which do not restrict direct ownership but may discourage it by imposing higher taxes, reporting requirements, and registration.
Any owned land in Canada must be registered in the public land registry. This can be done through a land titles system, registry system, or the combination of both in various provinces. The registry system refers to a public record, which contains evidence of any transaction that affects land. Each province and territory in the country has its land registry system, and each system has its own rules. In most cases, there is no physical document issued to the owners of registered land except for copies of the transfer or deed in land titles system and registry system respectively.
Both leasehold and freehold rights exist in Canada. The leasehold right is that where a tenant gets exclusive possession right, enforceable against all including the lessor. Both leasehold and freehold may be held based on co-ownership as joint tenancy. The licenses issued are contractual rights of the involved parties. In other words, when a licensee gets a license from the licensor, he is allowed to make use of the land only in the manner specified in that contract. Restrictive covenants, easements, and servitudes are some of the other rights in land.