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Important information on the Vancouver Empty Homes Tax

June 30 2017

Empty room

Now almost halfway through the first tax year of the Empty Homes Tax, residential property owners should be reminded that non-principal residences must be occupied by a tenant for six months in 2017, or qualify for one of the exemptions to avoid being subject to the tax.

Find out if you're subject to the tax

If a property is not used as a principal residence, and has not been rented yet in 2017, it would need to be rented by July 1 through to December 31 in order for the tax to not apply.

Most residential property owners will not be subject to the Empty Homes Tax as it does not apply to principal residences or homes rented on a long-term basis.

To find out if a residential property is subject to the Empty Homes Tax, Vancouver residential property owners can take the Empty Homes Tax questionnaire

Take the questionnaire

How to declare

At the end of 2017 all residential property owners will receive instructions to declare whether their property was:

  1. Used as a principal residence by them, a family member, or a friend
  2. Occupied by a tenant or subtenant in periods of at least 30 consecutive days for a minimum of six month
  3. Eligible for an exemption

Otherwise the tax will apply.

All residential property owners will be required to submit their property status declaration to the City of Vancouver by February 2, 2018, even if they may not be subject to the tax.

Residential Property owners will receive a notification with instruction on how to make their property status declaration by December 2017.

Facts about the Empty Homes Tax

What is a principal residence?

  • A principal residence is the primary place where an individual lives and conducts his or her daily affairs. The property must be used as a principal residence by the owner, a family member, or a friend for at least six months of the year.
  • A principal residence serves as the primary address for documentation related to billing, identification, taxation and insurance purposes. Types of evidence that may be required include income tax returns, Medical Services Plan documentation, government-issued identification, vehicle registration, and utility bills.
  • Residential properties that were not used as a principal residence, rented for at least six months, and do not qualify for an exemption will be subject to the Empty Homes Tax.

Learn about exemptions and scenarios that may apply to you.

Who needs to fill out a property status declaration?

  • All Vancouver residential property owners are required to submit a property status declaration by February 2, 2018 for the calendar year of January to December 2017.
  • A notification with instructions on how to make a property status declaration will be sent to all homeowners by December 2017.

Learn more about the Empty Homes Tax