The Ministry of Justice and Attorney General has concluded public consultations on the development of The Life Leases Regulations that will support the implementation of The Life Leases Act (the Act).
The Act received assent in spring 2022 but is not yet in force. Once in force, the Act and the new regulations will establish minimum requirements for life leases in Saskatchewan.
Life leases offer a mix between owning and renting. Those who purchase a life lease are allowed to live in the residential property for a period of 20 years or more, or for life, but they must pay an initial lump sum up front and thereafter make monthly payments. Those who purchase a life lease do not own the property; they have the right only to live at the residence. Depending on the contract, beneficiaries may also inherit a life lease upon the lease holder’s death.
Life leases are increasingly being used in seniors’ housing projects. However, they are generally unregulated in Saskatchewan, as well as other parts of Canada. The Act creates a framework of minimum requirements for life leases for the benefit of both lease holders and lease operators by balancing consumer protection considerations for lease holders with the flexibility to encourage financial viability for lease operators and continued innovation in housing development.
The Act follows the recommendations of the Life Lease Legislation: Final Report, which was developed by the Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan. This report was created in response to concerns raised by life lease holders.