Empty Homes Tax in Vancouver

The City of Vancouver implemented a vacancy tax, formally known as the Empty Homes Tax, for the tax year 2017.  The rate of the vacancy tax is 1% of the taxable assessed value of a parcel of taxable property.

How does the Empty Homes Tax affect me?

If you are a current homeowner or planning to be one in the City of Vancouver, this tax may affect you.  Here’s what you need to know. 

Who is affected by the Empty Homes Tax?

The tax will only apply if the property is not:

  1. Used as a principal residence by the owner, his/her family member, or a friend, or
  2. Rented for a total of 180 days of the year, in periods of at least 30 consecutive days, or
  3. One of the permissible exemptions.
What are the permissible exemptions for the Empty Homes Tax?
  • If the property forms part of estate of deceased
    • This is usually the result of a pending grant of probate or administration
  • If the property undergoes major renovations or is under construction or redevelopment and permits have been issued
  • If the owner or tenant or subtenant is undergoing medical care or residing in a hospital and receiving long-term or supportive care
  • If ownership of the property changed during the year
  • If property is under a court order prohibiting occupancy
  • If the property is used for a minimum of 180 days of the year for work purposes within the City of Vancouver, but principal residence is claimed elsewhere
  • If the property was subject to strata rental regulations as of November 16, 2016, that restrict the number of units that may be rented, and the maximum allowable number of rentals has already been reached
  • If the property’s usage is limited to vehicle parking and precludes the construction of a residential building

If you’re concerned that the Empty Homes Tax may apply to you, you can learn more here.

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