Buying in Banff

Who can purchase in Banff?

I heard buying in Banff was complicated?!?

Actually, no. For the right person, buying in Banff can actually be very straightforward. For anyone looking to purchase commercial property, or for someone with income in Banff that needs to live there, it’s actually quite simple; there are just a few rules and regulations to navigate.

Generally speaking, there are two things that make buying in Banff a little complicated:

1. The ‘need to reside’ clause

2. Leasing from Parks Canada.

The 'Need to Reside' clause

Parks Canada’s main rule for Banff actually relates to living here.  To actually live in Banff, your primary income must come from a business within the town of Banff. The idea is that with so few properties in Banff, purchasing needs to be restricted to people that actually NEED to live here. So, although having a vacation home in Banff isn’t possible, you can certainly own an investment property here and rent to people that work in Banff, or live here.

Leasing from Parks Canada

When you purchase a property in Banff, you don’t actually purchase or own the land the house sits on. This is retained by Parks Canada, who grants each buyer a ‘leasehold’ interest in the property. A leasehold interest grants the owner all the property rights of freehold ownership, except for owning the land itself, and generally lasts for a specific duration (in Banff it’s 42 years), which is then renewed at the end of this period. Arranging financing can sometimes be the biggest hurdle, click the button below for more information!

 The Need-to-Reside Clause – who qualifies?

(Taken from the town of Banff website – click here to learn more

In order to live in Banff, you need to work in Banff. It’s a Parks Canada regulation to make sure housing is available to the people who work in the community, so it isn’t used as vacation properties or second homes.

According to the National Parks Lease and License of Occupation Regulations an eligible resident is defined as: 

(a) an individual whose primary employment is in the park, 

(b) an individual who operates a business in the park and whose presence at the place of business is necessary for the day-to-day operation of the business, 

(c) a retired individual who resides in the park and who, for five consecutive years immediately prior to retirement, 

(i) was employed primarily in that park, or

(ii) operated a business in that park and whose presence at the place of business was necessary for the day-to-day operation of the business, 

(d) a retired individual who resided in the park at the time of the individual’s retirement and who resided in that park on July 30, 1981, 

(e) an individual who is a student in full-time attendance at an educational institution that is located within the park and registered under the Income Tax Act or applicable provincial legislation relating to education, 

(f) an individual who is a lessee of public lands in the park and who

(i) was the lessee of those public lands prior to May 19, 1911, or

(ii) is a descendant, by blood or adoption, of an individual who was the lessee of those public lands prior to May 19, 1911, or

(g) the spouse or common-law partner or a dependent of an individual referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (f).

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