My Cottage is on Leased Native Lands

Aug 12th, 2014 | By Paul Miron

With the high profile legal decisions about Aboriginal Title to Treaty Lands, one area that we are often asked about is protection for a cottager’s whose summer home resides on leased native lands. Here are the top questions and FCT’s responses:

How does title insurance benefit a cottager with a leasehold interest on native land? What coverage is provided?
The insured cottager would receive the same coverage as a title insurance policy on their primary home. With FCT there are over 33 covered risks. In addition the cottager with a leasehold interest on native land would receive coverage in the event of an unlawful eviction for a matter covered under the policy.

What is a leasehold interest? 
A leasehold title or estate is a form of land tenure where a party buys the right to occupy land or a building for a given length of time. It provides a tenant or lessee with the right of exclusive possession of a property for a certain period of time, being the term of the lease. A long term lease interest is a valuable asset which can be sold or mortgaged as a real property interest.

When someone is unlawfully evicted –how is this proven and what would they be compensated for?
It would depend on the claim.  For example, the Insureds would need to prove:
– loss of enjoyment due to a prior interest; or
– third party title claim; or
– lawful prevention of the use of the land or improvements permitted by the lease as a result of a covered title risk (eg. the use as of the Policy Date not being a permitted use as a result of zoning or perhaps there is a violation of a restrictive covenant, etc).

The Insured would be compensated for:
– value of the remaining lease term;
– reasonable costs of removing and relocating;
– cost of repairing the Personal Property caused by the removal and relocation;
– damages Insured is obligated to pay to subtenant on account of the breach of any sublease caused by the eviction; 
– the amount of rent, the Insured must continue to pay to the leaseholder after eviction.

How much does a title insurance leasehold interest policy on First nations land cost?
Premiums range depending on province, property type and property value. First Nation Lands leasehold interest policy for both lender and lessee policies starts at $500,  but can increase depending on property value. 

Does title insurance provide any protections in the case of a land claim for a cottager? 
If the property is non-urban and/or waterfront, we exclude any Native land claims.  Our definition of “urban” is that the property has to be hooked up to either municipal sewers and/ or municipal water. So provided that the property is “urban”, not on waterfront and the Insured is not aware of Native Land Claims, there would be coverage for actual loss in the event of a Native Land Claim.

4 Responses to “My Cottage is on Leased Native Lands”

  1. Andrea T. Garland says:

    I have a place on Lease land. I signed a contract between Band, myself, and hereditary owner of the land. At every turn I have been told that the document we signed, which they drafted, is not legal. It has been impossible to negotiate anything… the attitude has been ‘if I don’t like it, pack up and leave’, not very good business attitude and I would say almost abusive.

    • FCT says:

      Hi Andrea,

      It sounds like you may need legal advice on the contract you signed. You can take the contract to your lawyer and start there. If you have a title insurance policy, you can show it to your lawyer who will be able to provide you with advice. To get a coverage position for any claim you will need to submit it in writing. The claims process can be started by going to this section of our website. Hope this helps!

  2. Nancy Bryce says:

    We were forced to vacate our cottage wit only 36 hrs notice in the middle of the pandemic. The band is still blocking the road. Their members are not isolated to reserve. They are coming and going on a regular basis. We lease land and own buildings! What are options

    • FCT says:

      Hi Nancy,
      Our best advice to you would be to consult your lawyer regarding this situation.


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