Could your property be subject to the Vacant Unit Tax in 2023?

The City has a new online questionnaire on where residents can find out whether their residential property could be subject to the new Vacant Unit Tax on the 2023 final property tax bill.

The questionnaire is easy to use and will only take a couple of minutes to complete. The number of questions on your current property occupancy status will vary between two and five questions, depending on what answer you select. 

Between January and March 2023, all property owners will be required to complete a mandatory declaration online on or through MyServiceOttawa. The declaration will take less than five minutes to complete and will be based on your property occupancy status during the 2022 calendar year.  It will be an annual requirement.

The Vacant Unit Tax could be subjected to secondary residential properties that have not been occupied for more than 184 days and do not meet any of the exemptions, which include:

  • Death of a registered owner
  • Property owner in a hospital or long-term care facility
  • Arm’s length sale of the property
  • Specific court orders prohibiting occupancy, sale, or rental of the property
  • The property was undergoing extended renovations or construction
  • Was used as a cottage rental with a valid permit for at least 100 days

This new tax serves as an incentive to ensure secondary or other residential investment properties – which are not the owner’s principal residence – remain occupied either through renting or placing it on the real estate market.

Vacant Unit Tax revenues will help fund affordable housing initiatives, in accordance with the City’s Ten-Year Affordable Housing and Homeless Plan, which commits capital funding for the construction of up to 500 new affordable units annually.