Westbank First Nation members have voted to modernize the headlease and subleases for homes in the Lakeridge Park area of the reserve.
According to the WFN, the move is very good news for homeowners in the area because some of the major changes to the sublease include the elimination of dual registration of the transfer and mortgage, so lessees will be able to obtain Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation insurance, the removal of construction covenants which are now covered by WFN law, the removal of the WFN’s Development Corporation (DevCo) consent to assign and sublet requirement and the establishment of a new annual fee.
The WFN says it anticipates the amendment will increase the value of Lakeridge Park properties and make them more marketable.
Eighty five per cent of the WFN members who took part in the vote last Tuesday approved the changes.
This year, 12 subleases reached their 35 year mark and will have their annual fee recalculated as of July 1st.
The properties are described as a priority for the band and their owners will be contacted directly by WFN over the next few weeks.
The other Lakeridge Park property owners will be contacted by WFN during July and August.
A full information package will be distributed to all property owners and a public meeting will be held to provide more information and the opportunity for residents to present any concerns.
“What the WFN has achieved with the membership agreeing to revamp the Lakeridge Park headlease and sublease situation is nothing short of amazing,” said lawyer Barry Porrelli, of Porrelli Law.
“Bringing the leases into the current day format, getting rid of the provincial transfer tax, obtaining CMHC approval and rationalizing the annual fees should be very appealing to lenders, realtors, buyers and their lawyers.
“I expect this should have an immediate positive impact on values in this subdivision.
“These amendments demonstrate the very forward thinking of this First Nation government.”
Terry Turcan, chairman for the WFN residents’ advisory council, agreed, saying: “This is good news for the residents of Lakeridge Park, and all residents who reside on WFN lands.
“Westbank is a pro-active and evolving government with the interests of both its members and residents at heart.”