Non Resident Buying Property In Ontario
Non Resident Buying Property in Ontario

Can I buy property in Canada as a non resident

Effective as of January 1, 2023, the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act (the “Act”) prevents non-Canadians from buying residential property in Canada for 2 years.

Before that, a foreigner, including US Citizen and international student, is allowed to buy property in Toronto. The process is quite similar to that of the permanent resident, except for the main variances in the applicable tax, and the financial mortgage requirement.

House buyers may consider the following factors, which are attempted to list in sequence as the main steps when you buy a property in Ontario.

Non resident mortgage

Down payment

Non residents may have to prepare a higher down payment of 35% of the purchase price vs the much lower one for the resident. The mortgages may be charged higher due to your lack of credit history in Canada.

Document to prepare

Bank reference letter, Employment verification letter (including income verification), Bank statements (three months as a minimum), and Credit check.

Account Opening

The real pain is that Canadian banks request you in person to open an account if you happen to have difficulties coming over. However, you may try to reach your local branch of those banks to check whether they would offer such a convenience after your mortgage approval. For example, HSBC may offer such a convenience. 

Real Estate Tax


Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) is applicable to foreigners when you buy residential properties in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Region, Toronto included. Please review the details on NRST rebate and exemptions

Income Tax

When you plan to rent out your property, income tax is applicable. If you don’t file to CRA, the tenant would withhold 25% of the rental income to CRA. Please refer to the CRA website for details.

Other Tax applicable to both Resident and Non Resident

  • Land Transfer Tax Provincial: It varies with the purchase price. 
  • Municipal Land Transfer Tax: These vary by city, the tax of Toronto is the same as the Ontario provincial tax.
  • Property tax: It is calculated based on the municipal tax rates, education rate, and property value. Generally the higher your home value ( (property value for tax is usually lower than current market value), the higher your property tax. For details please review
  • Capital Gain Tax: When you have a need to sell a property, as Non-residents, you need to acquire a certificate from Canada Revenue Agency that you’ve paid the applicable tax. Otherwise, the buyer will withhold a portion of the sale price, say 25%. Since this process takes time, please advise your lawyer as early as possible.

Property Search

You could reach various aggregator websites to look for your properties. also covers those listings with the sold data for your reference.

Showing Homes

If you couldn’t be on-site, you could ask for help from your family member or a friend. If no such help is available, thanks to the new technology, many listings are listed with picture details and 3D Tour, we could also show you the property via video or virtual viewing through online apps.

Offer and Signing

All the offers and related signing would be done electronically. 

Real Estate Deposit

5% of the purchase price is required as a deposit. It needs to be ready, normally within 24 hours after the acceptance of the offer via a banker draft, or money wire transfer. 

Home Inspection

If you have a home inspection condition in your offer, you could hire a home inspector directly or through us. The associated fee is $300~500 for an average home.


Insurance is required on the closing day. There are a number of choices available.

Choose a real estate lawyer

You may need a notary public locally for the title change if you couldn’t attend in person. Your lawyer will walk through you the details.

Closing Cost

  • The remaining balance: the difference between the purchase price and the deposit, usually through the mortgage.
  • Legal Fees: $1500~$2000
  • Provincial Land Transfer Tax, and Municipal Tax if applicable
  • HST for pre construction property only
  • Insurance: varies with properties and coverage
  • Adjustment: including property tax, utilities, etc

Home Renting

How to find tenants

We could help you list your home in MLS and find the right tenant. The commission is commonly 1 month rent with half to the listing brokerage and half to the brokerage that brings in the tenant.

Home maintenance

If you need someone for your home maintenance, we charge a fee equivalent to 5% of the monthly rent. The charge for repairs, changes, and related costs is billed to you separately. 

Income Tax

For your rental income, you probably would file to CRA for net income tax. Otherwise, the tenant may withhold 25% of your rent to CRA.