Each life lease housing project is different. For example, living in a life lease townhouse is different from living in a life lease apartment.

The marketing materials received from the sponsor usually give a good sense of what life would be like in a specific life lease community.

All life lease projects provide residents with a “rules and regulations” document that addresses the way residents are to treat the property.


Many life lease projects place limitations on smoking. This is more common in apartment-style buildings than in townhouse-style developments.


Most life lease projects permit residents to keep pets, but they often impose certain restrictions.

The resident may need permission from staff before moving a pet into their home. The life lease project may also have rules about the size, type and number of pets.

Service animals are exempt from these types of restrictions under the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. This means that if a resident has a visual impairment, the sponsor must accept their seeing-eye dog even if it is larger than what the rules normally allow.


If you are planning to renovate, it is a good idea to start by checking the rules.

Most sponsors will require you to submit a request outlining your renovation plans. They will check that proposed renovations will not negatively impact the property’s structure, electrical wiring or plumbing. You must wait until you receive written permission to start renovations.

Some sponsors may have a list of pre-approved contractors to choose from.


Some sponsors provide regular updates about the finances of the project, others do not. Most will share this information with lease holders who request it.

Sponsors may share financial information with residents by:

  • presenting the information at a meeting to which all residents are invited
  • providing documents to the residents’ committee
  • delivering documents to each life lease holder’s mailbox


Board of directors

Often, a life lease board is responsible for the life lease project and other services the non-profit organization offers. In some cases, residents may serve on the board of directors.

Residents’ committee

Life lease projects have some form of residents’ committee or advisory council. This group may organize activities or raise issues with staff or the board on behalf of residents.

Residents’ committees play an advisory role, while the final decision rests with the board of directors.