In case you hadn’t heard, Canada is in the middle of a housing shortage due to lack of supply and affordability, and demand for a solution is only increasing.
That’s why lawyers like Mariam Sarr are doing double duty when it comes to understanding legislation enacted and being enacted at multiple levels of government to solve this problem, including the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act.
With this two-year ban on foreign buyers coming into force on January 1, 2023, Sarr and her colleagues at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP/s.r.l. are already on the case. “When a new law is coming in, we want to anticipate any problems that could affect our clients,” she said.
Right now, there are more questions than answers.
What we know is that the law comes into force at the start of 2023 and it likely won’t be applied retroactively, said Sarr, meaning it will not affect agreements entered into prior to January 1.
But after that, residents will need to be mindful not to run afoul of the law. “People who have knowingly assisted in contravention of the Act — meaning they knowingly sold their property to a foreign buyer — may be subject to monetary penalties,” said Sarr.
She suggests that anyone buying residential property after January 1st bring a real estate lawyer into the process earlier than usual.
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