The Ottawa Vacant Home Tax

Did you know all residential property owners (rental properties or principal residences) in Ottawa will be required to submit a declaration of their property’s occupancy status for the previous year, even if you live in your home? Failure to do so may result in being subject to additional tax.

In an effort to increase the supply of housing, the City of Ottawa has implemented an annual tax to be levied on vacant Ottawa residences. The Ottawa Vacant Home Tax now requires residential property owners to submit a declaration of their property’s status for the previous year. Homeowners who choose to keep their properties vacant will be subject to this tax.

Though all homeowners are required to submit a declaration of occupancy status, the tax does not apply to:

  • properties that are the principal residence of the owner
  • properties that are the principal residence of a permitted occupant or tenant
  • properties that qualify for an exemption

The deadline to declare a property’s 2022 occupancy status is March 16, 2023. 

Mandatory Declaration of Occupancy Status

All residential property owners in Ottawa  will be required to declare the status of their property(s) annually, even if they live there. Declarations must be made by the homeowner or someone acting on behalf of the owner. The declaration will determine whether the Vacant Home Tax applies and is payable.

Principal residences may be left unoccupied for periods of up to a total of six months throughout the taxation year without being subject to the tax.

Vacant Home Tax Calculation

A Vacant Home Tax of one percent of the Current Value Assessment (CVA) will be imposed on all Ottawa residences that are declared, deemed or determined vacant for more than six months during the previous year. For example, if the CVA of your property is $1,000,000, the tax amount billed would be $10,000 (1% x $1,000,000).

The tax is based on the property’s occupancy status for the previous year. For example, if the home is vacant in 2022 the tax will become payable in 2023.

How to Declare

  • To make a declaration, you will need your 21-digit assessment roll number and customer number from your tax bill or property tax account statement.
  • Declarations of occupancy status should be made through the City’s secure online declaration portal that will open in mid-December 2022. If required, homeowners can receive a paper declaration form by contacting 311. The paper form must be completed in full and received by the City of Ottawa before the deadline to avoid being issued a fine and having your property deemed vacant. Incomplete forms will not be accepted. Please be aware of Canada Post delivery times.
  • For residential properties declared as vacant for six months or more during the taxation year and without an eligible exemption, owners will be required to pay the Vacant Home Tax.
  • Owners of properties subject to the tax will be issued a Vacant Home Tax Notice in March/April and payment will be due on May 1.
  • Residential properties will be deemed vacant if the owner fails to make the annual declaration by the deadline and/or provide supporting documentation.

If there is an error in the declaration you submitted, you can:

  • submit a new declaration prior to the March 16th declaration deadline
  • file a Notice of Complaint if it’s after the declaration deadline

Failure to declare or making a false declaration may result in a fine of $250 to $10,000.

Will the Vacant Unit Tax apply to you?

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