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Canada - Property Legal Issues

At the present time there are no restrictions placed on foreign nationals purchasing property in Canada, although there are calls in some quarters for restrictions to be introduced. Vancouver, in particular, has a strong property market and prices there are twice as high as in other parts of the country. Some see restrictions on foreign ownership as a way of controlling this.

A foreign national can purchase a property in any part of Canada but this will not automatically award you residency or citizenship status and you will still need to go through the application process for both of these. There are also no restrictions if you wish to purchase a property to rent out to others and you can do so even if you do not have residency status, but you should be aware that you will be liable for taxes in Canada even if you are not living in the country.

There are no restrictions on selling a property. If the property is yours you can sell it whenever you want to. Debts on a property that have been run up by a previous owner are not the responsibility of the new owner as the property needs to be sold with no such debts on it.

If you are purchasing land to build a property then you will need to apply for planning permission. There are no guarantees that planning permission will be granted but if you do your homework before you purchase the property you should have a good idea of how favourable the odds are. The regulations are different in each province and territory.

When buying a rural property the regulations are no different. Some areas do have run-down properties but buying a ruin and renovating is not a common practice in Canada. Many of the properties that are available are less than 100 years old and in rural areas may be only slightly older.

Most property which has had a preservation order attached to it is not residential so this should not be an issue for most people. Buildings that are preserved tend to be public buildings which date back a few hundred years.

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