Canada Has Temporarily Banned Foreigners From Buying Residential Properties to Keep Houses Affordable for Canadians
The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act now prevents foreigners from buying residential property in Canada for two years.
The ban went into effect on New Year’s Day after being approved by Parliament on June 23.
The legislation‘s goal was to make homes more affordable for people who are actually living in Canada.
“The Act defines residential property as buildings with 3 homes or less, as well as parts of buildings like a semi-detached house or a condominium unit. The law does not prohibit the purchase of larger buildings with multiple units,” the Canadian government said in a press release.
The ban also includes company owners who are not Canadian.
Those who violate the prohibition will be subject to a hefty fine — or potential sale of the property.
“As set out under the Act, a non-Canadian that contravenes the prohibition, or any person or entity that knowingly assists a non-Canadian in contravening the prohibition, is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to $10,000,” the act states. “The Act establishes that, if a non-Canadian is convicted of having contravened the prohibition, the superior court of the province in which the residential property to which the contravention relates is situated may, on application of the responsible Minister, order the residential property to be sold. Any judicial sale order would be at the discretion of the applicable court.”
If a property purchase is in violation and the home is sold, the foreigner cannot receive any more than their purchase price back.
“The Act also establishes that any such court-ordered sale will result in the non-Canadian receiving no more than the purchase price paid for the residential property. For greater clarity, the sale of a property in breach of the prohibition does not affect the validity of the sale,” the law says.
The ban does not apply to non-Canadians who are looking to rent.
“The Regulations explicitly clarify that the prohibition in the Act does not apply in circumstances where it would conflict with Indigenous rights recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. This provision was subject to public consultation, including direct outreach to Indigenous governments and organizations,” the act states.
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Author: Cassandra Fairbanks