Canadian Real Estate Glossary

Canadian Real Estate Glossary


Land Survey: The process of measuring and mapping the boundaries, features, and topography of a piece of land.

Landscape Architect: A professional who specializes in the design, planning, and management of outdoor spaces, including gardens, parks, public areas, and other land areas. Landscape architects combine elements of art, design, and environmental science to create aesthetically pleasing, functional, and sustainable landscapes that meet the needs and preferences of clients while considering factors such as environmental impact and site characteristics.

Landscape Contractor: A professional or company that specializes in the construction, installation, and maintenance of landscapes and outdoor environments. Landscape contractors typically work on projects that involve elements such as planting, hardscaping (e.g., pathways, patios), irrigation systems, lighting, and other landscape features. They collaborate with landscape architects or designers to bring their plans to life and ensure proper implementation and ongoing care of the landscape.

Landlord: The owner of a property who leases or rents it to a tenant in exchange for rent payments.

Land Transfer Tax: A tax imposed by some provinces and municipalities in Canada on the transfer of land or real estate from one owner to another.

Late Charge: A fee imposed by a lender or creditor when a borrower fails to make a payment by the specified due date. The late charge is typically a predetermined amount or a percentage of the overdue payment and serves as a penalty for the delay in fulfilling the financial obligation.

Late Payment: A payment that is not made by the specified due date or within the agreed-upon timeframe. Late payments can result in additional fees, penalties, or negative impacts on the borrower's credit history and credit score.

Latent Defect: A hidden or concealed flaw or issue in a property that is not easily discoverable through a reasonable inspection. Latent defects are not readily apparent and may not be discovered until after the purchase of the property.

Lease: A legal agreement between a landlord and a tenant that grants the tenant the right to use and occupy the property for a specific period in exchange for rent.

Lease Buyout: A contractual agreement between a tenant and a landlord where the tenant pays a specified amount to terminate a lease agreement before its scheduled end date, typically in exchange for a negotiated fee or penalty as agreed upon in the lease terms.

Lease Option: A contractual arrangement in which a property owner (the landlord) grants a tenant the option to purchase the property at a specified price within a predetermined period of time. The tenant has the right, but not the obligation, to exercise the option and buy the property during the lease term.

Leasehold: The right to use and occupy a property for a specified period under the terms of a lease agreement. In a leasehold ownership structure, the owner of a property has the right to use and occupy the property for a specific period of time, but does not have full ownership of the land. The owner must pay a periodic rent to the owner of the land (the landlord), and may be subject to certain restrictions on how the property can be used.

Legal Description: A detailed description of a property's location, boundaries, and dimensions, typically used in legal documents and land records.

Lender: A financial institution or individual that provides funds to borrowers with the expectation of repayment. In the context of real estate, a lender is typically involved in mortgage lending, where they extend loans to borrowers for the purpose of purchasing or refinancing property. Lenders evaluate the creditworthiness of borrowers, set loan terms, and disburse the loan funds, often charging interest and other fees as part of the lending arrangement.

Letter of Intent: A document that outlines the preliminary understanding and intentions between parties involved in a potential transaction or agreement. A letter of intent is commonly used in real estate to express the key terms, conditions, and expectations of a proposed deal, such as the purchase or lease of a property. Although not legally binding like a contract, it serves as a starting point for negotiations and provides a framework for further discussions and the eventual formation of a formal agreement.

Leverage: In the context of real estate, leverage refers to the use of borrowed funds (such as a mortgage or loan) to finance the purchase of a property. By leveraging, an investor or buyer can use a smaller amount of their own capital and borrow a larger portion to acquire the property. This allows them to control a more valuable asset and potentially amplify their investment returns. However, it also increases the risk as the borrower is responsible for repaying the borrowed funds along with any associated interest and fees.

Liabilities: In real estate, liabilities refer to financial obligations or debts that a person or entity owes and is responsible for. Liabilities can include mortgage loans, outstanding balances on credit lines, property taxes, utility bills, maintenance costs, or any other monetary obligations associated with owning or managing a property.

Liability Insurance: Insurance that protects property owners, landlords, or businesses from legal claims and expenses related to injuries, property damage, or other liabilities. It provides coverage for potential accidents or incidents that may occur on the property, offering financial protection and peace of mind.

Lien: A legal claim or encumbrance on a property, usually as security for the payment of a debt or obligation.

Life Cap: A limit on how much the interest rate can change on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) over the entire loan term. It provides borrowers with protection against excessive interest rate increases or decreases throughout the life of the loan.

Life-Cycle Cost Analysis: An evaluation process that assesses the total cost of owning, operating, and maintaining an asset or property over its entire life span. Life-cycle cost analysis takes into account not only the initial purchase or construction costs but also factors in ongoing expenses such as maintenance, repairs, energy consumption, and disposal costs.

Limited Partnership: A business arrangement commonly used in real estate ventures where there are general partners who manage the partnership and have unlimited liability, and limited partners who invest money but have limited liability.

Liquid Assets: Assets that can be easily converted into cash without significant loss in value or time. Liquid assets are typically held in the form of cash, bank accounts, government bonds, stocks, and other highly liquid investments. These assets provide flexibility and immediate access to funds, allowing individuals or businesses to meet their financial obligations or take advantage of investment opportunities.

Liquidated Damages: A pre-determined amount of money agreed upon in a contract that one party must pay to the other if they fail to fulfill their contractual obligations. It serves as compensation for the potential losses resulting from the breach, simplifying the resolution of disputes and avoiding the need for extensive legal proceedings.

Listing: A property that is publicly advertised for sale or rent in the real estate market.

Listing Agent: The real estate agent or broker who represents the seller of a property and is responsible for marketing and negotiating the sale.

Loan Commitment: A lender's formal agreement to provide a specified amount of funds to a borrower for a designated purpose, subject to certain conditions and within a predetermined timeframe. The loan commitment outlines the terms and conditions of the loan, including the interest rate, repayment terms, and any collateral or documentation requirements.

Loan Constant: The ratio of the annual debt service payment to the original loan amount, expressed as a percentage. It represents the portion of the loan amount that needs to be paid annually to cover both the principal and interest payments.

Loan Officer: A financial professional who assists borrowers in obtaining mortgage loans and guides them through the application and approval process.

Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV): The ratio of a mortgage loan amount to the appraised value or purchase price of a property, expressed as a percentage.

Lock-In Period: A specified period during which a borrower is bound by the terms and conditions of a mortgage loan, including any penalties or restrictions on prepayment or refinancing.

Loft: A type of residential or commercial space that is characterized by its open layout, high ceilings, and large windows. Lofts are typically converted from former industrial or warehouse buildings, offering a unique and spacious living or working environment. They often feature exposed brick or concrete walls, open floor plans, and minimal interior partitions.

Low-Ball Offer: An offer to purchase a property or asset that is significantly below the current market value or the seller's asking price. A low-ball offer is often made in an attempt to secure a favorable deal by taking advantage of the seller's perceived need to sell quickly or their willingness to negotiate. 

Low-Rise: A building or housing development consisting of a limited number of floors or levels, typically up to three or four stories.

Lump Sum: A single, one-time payment made in a real estate transaction or as part of a mortgage repayment.

Luxury Home: A high-end residential property that offers exceptional quality, features, and amenities, often catering to affluent buyers.

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