Vancouver Empty Homes Tax now in effect

Posted on January 22nd, 2017

Vancouver’s Empty Homes Tax is now in effect.

The first tax year began January 1, 2017. The tax rate is 1.0% of the property’s assessed value.

Property owners are required to complete a declaration not available online until December 2017.

Who pays this tax?
Owners of non-principal residences unoccupied for six months or more each year must pay this tax.

The Empty Homes Tax Does Not apply to:

  • Vancouver home owners, including snowbirds;
  • owners of principal residences;
  • a home with a basement suit or a laneway house if one of the units is occupied; and
  • Owners of properties rented long-term (with a tenancy agreement), or for at least 30 days in a row for a minimum of six months or a total of 180 days a year. For example, a homeowner renting a property for six 30-day terms is exempt from the tax, even if those six 30-day terms are not consecutive.

Exemptions
Exemptions include:

  • a property being renovated, or under construction or redevelopment (with permits);
  • the owner (or other occupier) is undergoing medical or supportive care;
  • the owner has died and the property is in probate;
  • the property changed ownership during the previous year;
  • there are strata rental restrictions prohibiting rental;
  • the owner uses the property for six months a year for work and has a principal residence elsewhere;
  • there is a court order prohibiting occupancy;
  • the property is limited to vehicle parking, or a residential building can’t be constructed because of the size or shape of the property.

Owners claiming an exemption
These owners must provide evidence, for example, building permits, a letter from a care facility, a death certificate, strata bylaws, or related.

If you don’t qualify for an exemption
Does the tax apply to you? Check here.

Property owners who don’t qualify for an exemption have options. You can:

  • live in your property as a principal residence;
  • rent your property for a minimum of 180 days per year, in periods of at least 30 consecutive days;
  • hire a property management firm to rent the property on a long-term or periodic basis;
  • have a family member occupy the property as their principal residence;
  • sell the property; or
  • Keep the property as-is and pay the Empty Homes Tax.

Learn more
Empty Homes Tax information
Administrative Report (Opens 87-page pdf)
Staff presentation
Bylaw

Source: REBGV