What is a Life Lease Property?

What is a Life Lease Property?

When looking at starting the next stage in your life, the golden years, as it is so often called, you’ll be considering options such as assisted living, retirement communities, and even nursing homes (depending on your situation).  One option that you don’t often hear about, but is a great idea for those who qualify, is a life lease.  This is one of those deceiving terms that can be taken several ways and is confusing in all of them.  So, let’s take it apart and see just what it’s about.

What actually is a life lease?
            This is when a sponsor or an organization will design and abide by a lease that is going to give you a place to live for the rest of your life.  You’ll essentially be renting/residing in a spot that technically doesn’t belong to you, but is legally granted to you for the remainder of your life.
            If you have a life lease on an apartment, say, the owner of that apartment is legally obligated to allow you to live in that apartment for the remainder of your life, assuming you do not void the lease agreement.

What can a life lease look like?
            There are many forms of a life lease, especially in recent years, with people taking a look at different options for senior living.  It could be an apartment in a building with other seniors at a similar age and stage, with the same needs and goals.  It could be a townhouse or a semi-detached home that is in a complex with others who have purchased a life lease.  Or it could also be in a structure with a classic senior’s home design. 
            The lease itself will take different forms too, depending on whether it’s a non-profit sponsor or a private sponsor who is working with specific people and situations.

Who is eligible for a life lease (and why should I consider it)?
            Eligibility is completely reliant on the lease agreement itself.  Most are intended for those who are still in good health and have no advanced needs (such as mobility, or memory issues).  However, it really does depend on the situation and the intention of the life lease contract holder.  Eligibility often comes down to:
  • The neighbourhood goals: From condos to townhomes, those offering the lease want to know that they have a community of like-minded people living there to promote a better quality of life for many people.  That’s why properly shopping around for the right match is going to be critical.  It can be what determines whether the application is accepted or not.
  • Financial implications: Price always factors in, of course, and you’ll want to compare a lease to other options such as a retirement home.
  • The health and wellbeing of all involved: Most leases don’t allow for, or factor in, issues such as Alzheimer’s advanced medical assistance, or even terminal issues such as cancer.  Life lease is intended for otherwise healthy seniors looking for a safe and assured place to live out the rest of their days.

            Life leases are great options to consider along with retirement communities and other senior living opportunities. If you are healthy and have a bit of equity to invest in, we encourage you to look at this option. It may just be the right match for you!

If you are looking for assistance locating a home or resources for your loved one, you can reach out to our consulting team at consulting@seniorcareaccess.com or visit our consulting page for more information. Our Discover 3 program offers decision-makers and seniors, an opportunity to have a professional consultant identify 3 housing solutions based on their needs. If you need more information on care options for seniors, retirement community, or long-term care visiting tips and/or if you are interested in organizing your loved one’s information using our Care Planning Workbook, visit our publications page for a list of options and downloads.
For additional questions, feel free to contact us at connect@seniorcareaccess.com.
SeniorCareAccess.com is Canada’s largest unbiased seniors’ housing database, offering consulting services, and both seniors’ service and housing directories for professionals, seniors, and their families.

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