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Enforcement and penalties

Every owner of residential property is required to make a property status declaration each year to determine if the property is vacant and subject to the Empty Homes Tax.

Homes that are deemed vacant will be charged a tax of 1% of the property’s assessed taxable value.

Your property will be deemed vacant and subject to the tax if you fail to make a declaration by the due date. Penalties may also apply.

 The Empty Homes Tax is also known as the Vacancy Tax and is imposed under the Vacancy Tax By-law No. 11674.

Empty Homes Tax declaration due date

Declaration for 2017:  February 2, 2018

Empty Homes Tax payment: April 16, 2018

Unpaid tax added to property tax bill: December 31, 2018

How to submit your declaration

Penalties and fines

A declaration was not submitted

Failure to make a property status declaration by the due date will result in:

  • A $250.00 penalty for being in contravention of section 5.2 of the Vacancy Tax By-Law  (183 KB)
  • The property being deemed vacant and subject to a tax of 1% of the property’s assessed taxable value

Late and unpaid tax

Late and unpaid Empty Homes Taxes are subject to the same penalties for non-payment as property taxes, including:

  • A late payment penalty of 5%
  • Daily interest on arrears
  • The tax sale process

False declarations

False property status declarations will result in fines of up to $10,000 per day of the continuing offense, in addition to payment of the tax.

Questions about the Empty Homes Tax?

Read our FAQ

Audit process

Property status declarations may be subject to an audit process, in line with best practices for provincial and federal tax programs. 

If your property is selected for an audit, you will be asked to provide evidence in support of your declaration. ( This documentation is not required at the time of declaration and will only be requested if the property is selected for audit.)

Evidence required if the audited property is a principal residence

Evidence required if the audited property is rented

Submit a complaint

You may submit a Notice of Complaint if your property was determined or deemed to be vacant and subject to the Empty Homes Tax because:

  • You made an error or omission in completing your property status declaration (this includes failing to submit the property status declaration by the due date); or
  • The City made an error or omission when reviewing your property status declaration.

 You will not be able to submit a Notice of Complaint until March 15, 2018.