Types of Housing Ownership

Freehold

A freehold interest (also known as a fee simple) is the more precise term for what we ordinarily refer to as “ownership” of a property. The owner of the freehold interest has full use and control of the land and the buildings on it, subject to any rights of the Crown, local land-use bylaws, and any other restrictions in place at the time of purchase. Strata Property – The strata property form of ownership is designed to provide exclusive use and ownership of a specific housing unit (the strata lot) which is contained in a larger property (the strata project), plus shared use and ownership of the common areas such as halls, grounds, garages, elevators, etc. This type of ownership is used forduplexes, apartment blocks, townhouse complexes, warehouses, and many other types of buildings. Because ownership of the common space is shared, the owners also share financial responsibility for its maintenance.

Leasehold

In some cases, you might purchase the right to use a residential property for a long, but limited, period of time. The owner of this right of use has a type of ownership called a leasehold interest. This type of ownership is usedmost often for townhouses or apartments built on city-owned land. It is also used occasionally for single detached houses on farm land, on First Nation reserves, and for apartments where the owner of the freehold interest of an entire apartment block sells leasehold interests in individual apartment units to other “owners.” Leasehold interests are frequently set for periods of 99 years, but regardless of the length of the original term, you will only be able to purchase the remaining portion. Of course, the shorter the remaining portion, the less you, or the person who eventually purchases from you, will be willing to pay for the leasehold interest.

Cooperative

In the cooperative form of ownership, each owner owns a share in a company or cooperative venture which, in turn, owns a property containing a number of housing units. Each shareholder is assigned one particular unit in which to reside.

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