Vancouver Empty Homes Tax – Deceased Home Owner
In the event the owner has passed away the City has created a scenario to add to your stress. That being the “Empty Home Tax”. Each year, the owner of a residential property in Vancouver is forced to submit a property status declaration to determine if their property (or the one you inherited) is subject to the tax. Properties that are deemed empty will be subject to a tax of 1% of the property’s 2018 assessed taxable value. The money from this tax will be used for “affordable housing initiatives”. The City of Vancouver expects to collect $38 million from this tax for the year 2018. The cost to administer this tax, according to the City of Vancouver, will be about 7.4 million to implement over three years. Like any tax it may well rise. On November 29, 2018, Global News reported that Vancouver’s newly elected Mayor, Kennedy Stewart, pledged to triple the tax if he won office.
How Does This Affect Me?
If a property was empty for more than six months because the last registered owner is deceased, and a grant of probate or a grant of administration of the estate was pending, then the Empty Homes Tax will not apply.
However, this exemption DOES NOT APPLY if a grant of administration or probate was issued by a date that would have allowed the property to have been occupied for six months of the calendar year. The property, according to the City of Vancouver’s website, will be subject to the tax unless it was used as a principal residence or rented to a tenant or subtenant for at least six months.
Thus, despite the grief you may be experiencing once you have probate completed, you have six months to have your home sold and the sale completed or it will be deemed vacant.
Please note: as of January 15, 2019, I am waiting for a call back from the City of Vancouver for confirmation. They promise to call me back within 7 business days!