Foreign Ownership of Manitoba Farm Land

The Farm Lands Ownership Act is intended to preserve farm land for use by present and future generations of Canadians.  It limits foreign interest in Manitoba farm land to 40 acres to limit speculation and support the development of strong rural communities.

Non-Canadian individuals and corporations can apply to the Manitoba Farm Industry Board for an exemption if they wish to acquire an interest in more than 40 acres.  The Board considers factors such as the public interest, the potential benefit to Manitoba, and the specific circumstances of the applicant.

In Canada, registered real estate agents compile and write contracts for Purchasers and in turn present and negotiate these contracts with the Vendors. In a situation of Limited Joint Representation when we compile an “Offer to Purchase” on behalf of a Purchaser, we have a legal obligation to write it up to include appropriate conditions that safeguard and ensure it to be in the best interest of the purchaser:

  1. The Purchasers obtain a Visa granting approval for Landed Immigrant Status by (date)
  2. In the event of the death of one of the Purchasers on or before the date in 1. (above), this offer shall not be binding on their heirs, successors, or assigns, unless waived within 30 days of death;
  3. The Vendor will undertake to maintain the fixed buildings in at least the condition they were in at the time of inspection of the property, that date being (date)
  4. The Purchasers confirm financing (if any) through C.C. and/or a bank, by not later than (date)
  5. The Purchasers are able to arrange sale of their farm in their home country no later than (date).
  6. A deposit of around 5% will have to be paid within 30 days of acceptance of the Offer with the monies being held in trust by the selling broker in Canada on your behalf until possession

Due to actual possession maybe not taking place for some 12 months hence, additional conditions will need to be included dependent on the type of farm being purchased.  For example,

  1. Working the land properly and leaving it clean
  2. maintaining the health and breeding program of any livestock
  3. provision of winter feed
  4. vendor to maintain all pumps, equipment, and machinery if included (fair wear and tear accepted)

Once the contract has been written, we highly recommend it be reviewed by a lawyer on your behalf before it is presented to the Vendor.  Typically no charge is levied by the lawyer for this service.

NOTE: Under Canadian Law and real estate procedures, time is of the essence when it comes to fulfilling contractual obligations and meeting deadlines.

Failure to meet these obligations will likely render any agreement null and void.

CANADIAN LEGAL COSTS INCURRED IN A PROPERTY TRANSACTION

Normally, the Vendor and Purchaser will each retain their own solicitor at their own cost. For a land transaction of average complexity, the legal fee charged would likely be calculated by the solicitor as follows:

1%          of the first $25,000 of land purchased, sold or mortgaged

.5%        of the next $175,000 of value above $25,000

.25%      of the next $800,000 of value above $200,000

.125%    of any excess value over $1,000,000

These rates may be open to negotiation and adjustment subject to the size and complexity of the transaction.

In addition, the lawyers for the Vendor and Purchaser will have miscellaneous other costs which will ultimately be paid by the parties themselves.  For example:

  1. the costs of obtaining tax certificates, searches of titles, caveats, and other encumbrances, or
  2. The Purchaser is responsible for the fees of the Land Titles Office for registration of a transfer of land, (approximately $60 per transfer) as well as mortgage, if applicable.

Where farmland is being purchased as a farm, and continues to be farmed as a unit, then it qualifies for exemption from the payment of Manitoba Land Transfer Tax (similar to Stamp Duty), as well as GST.

FINANCIAL & BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION REQUIRED BY A LENDING INSTITUTION

The Canadian Banking system is currently ranked as one of the strongest and safest in the world

Financing for a farm purchase, if required, is usually fulfilled with:

  1. one of the five major banks in Canada
  2. FCC (Federal Farm Credit Corporation), or
  3. one of the Credit Unions.

They would require the following:

  1. Statement of current assets and
  2. Type and years of farming experience of principal
  3. Age and experience of other family
  4. Educational background of entire
  5. Reference letters from applicant’s current Banker, Accountants, etc.

Contrary to some other systems of selling property, through co-operation with other real estate companies we are able to show you suitable farms that are for sale with other Companies, as well as our own, thereby enabling you to view all farms with the one Company and your Sales Agent during your stay in Manitoba. Unless otherwise predetermined, the legal obligation of a sales agent is to the Vendor, but would stress that there is also a strong obligation to the Purchaser to ensure that you are made aware of all the relevant facts and details pertaining to the property and its location.

If you wish,we will take you to see a banker, accountant, lawyer, agrologist, and provide you with an insight into education, health systems, social programs, and general lifestyle.

We guarantee a full professional service, before, during, and after your visit, which will continue when you emigrate to Manitoba.  Our reputation depends on it.

Remember, You Deserve the Best!