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What Is Interim Occupancy?


Find out everything you need to know about interim occupancy from this blog.

Interim occupancy

Source: Pexels

Are you a home buyer and have shortlisted a few of the properties? Are you aware of all the occupancy rules and the associated charges? You must also know about interim occupancy too. Read this blog to find out more.

What Do You Mean by Interim Occupancy in the Simple Language in Canada?

First thing first, the meaning of the term “interim”. The Oxford English suggests the word “interim” represents a transient, provisional, or non-permanent position that can lapse with time. 

When this word gets combined with “occupancy”, which in real estate means “possession” or the “actual usage” of the property, we can interpret the meaning of the combined term “interim occupancy” as the time between:

  • The date of your actual moving into the house (that you have purchased)


  • The date on which you will legally become the owner of your purchased property 

The concept of “interim occupancy” usually comes into the play when you have purchased an under-construction property in its final completion stage. You can imagine this as a condominium in a partially constructed building. 

Now, you usually get the keys to your beloved house and may move in or start living. But you are still not the owner of your property because:

  • The other units in your building are still in the construction phase and have not completed yet
  • You have not registered the construction with the Land Registry Office where you have your apartment

Your unit or your house is finished and is ready for residential purposes. You have got the keys and have even moved in with all your belongings, including pets. But legally, we cannot construe it as a final closing, as the other units in your building are under construction. 

When you stay in your condominium or any housing unit, however, you are not yet the legal owner of the house as yet is Interim Occupancy. 

What Is the Duration of Interim Occupancy?

Typically, an interim occupancy lasts between three months to eight months. It entirely depends upon the speed the developer of your building is working and whether he is getting all the legal clearances within time. 

Further, if you have purchased a dwelling unit on the lower floors of your building, then there are high chances that the interim occupancy period will be higher for you as it takes time to finish the units at height. 

Do You Pay for Interim Occupancy?

The answer is YES. You are moving in before all your neighbours, but the developer has not yet developed all units. Hence, you compensate your real estate developer by paying an “interim rental fee”, usually every month. 

This fee is like the rent you are currently paying for your present accommodation. The only difference is the recipient of your rent is not your landlord but your real estate developer. 

How Is Interim Occupancy Different from Final Closing in Real Estate?

These terms differ from each other and represent the two different time phases. Let us establish a striking contrast between both these terms through the pointers below:


  • An interim occupancy represents a provisional stage. You are still not the property owner.
  • A “final closing” is the stage when the title of your property gets transferred to your name, and you become the legal owner of your property. You can now mortgage, sell, transfer your property as you legally own it. 

Associated Payments

  • You will pay a rental to your real estate developer for interim occupancy.
  • The monthly mortgage payments will not start yet. 
  • At the end of the final closing of the interim occupancy, your rental will cease, and instead, the monthly mortgage payments will begin.

Progress of Completion 

  • Your dwelling unit is complete, and that is why your real estate developer has handed you the keys so that you can enjoy possession of your property on an interim basis. However, the other units in your building are yet to finish. 
  • At the final closing, all the units in your building will complete, and all the occupants can now legally live.

Registration Requirements

  • Your developer will not register the under-construction property with the Land Registry Office during the interim occupancy.
  • However, it is a requirement at the time of final closing. 
Interim occupancy in Canada
Source: Pexels

How Does an Interim Occupancy Work? Explanation with A Practical Example. 

Let us understand the concept of Interim occupancy through the story of Sophia. 

Sophia is a marketing professional and is currently working with a multi-national corporation. She was on the lookout for a home and finally settled at a condominium on Burnham Thorpe Road, Ontario. 

Her building is still in the construction phase, but since her condo is on the lower floors, the construction is complete and ready to move in. 

Sophia got the keys to his dream house from the developer. She cannot resist moving in. It marks the beginning of the period of interim occupancy for Sophia, and from now on, she will pay a monthly rental fee to her developer for her occupancy. 

Sophia expects the other units to complete in the next four months. 


The building of Sophia enters the stage of final closing. The contractor completed all the units of her building. Her developer has even registered her construction with the Land Registry Office. It marks the end of her period of Interim occupancy. 

Now, she is the legal owner of her property, and she will now be required to pay her monthly mortgage payments to her lender. 

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