Vancouver’s 1% Vacancy Tax Begins in 2017

Vancouver’s 1% Vacancy Tax Begins in 2017

Vancouver is growing very quickly. People are attracted to its mild climate, natural beauty, and multi-culturalism. With all the new people arriving and buying properties, it can be difficult to find a suitable place to rent.

In an effort to make housing more available and affordable for the many renters, this year Vancouver City Hall will implement a 1% tax surcharge on properties that are vacant more than six months of the year. The aim is to compel owners of vacant apartments and houses to rent them to people who live and work in the city year round.

The surcharge will apply to all residential property types including houses, townhouses, and condominiums that are left empty for more than six months each year. If your unit is rented, or if you live there yourself for at least six months of the year, the tax surcharge will not apply. There are exemptions to the tax, as well. For example, if your home is under construction, or it was bought or sold during the year, or your condo has restrictions on renting, you won’t have to pay the tax. Each year, you will need to complete a declaration in order to be assessed for vacancy taxes. Penalties will be applied to your homeowner account for failure to file a declaration or paying your tax late. False declarations can result in a fine of $10,000 per day.

Corporate rentals are an ideal way to avoid the vacancy tax, receive a higher return on your real estate investment, and have high-quality renters without the problems or legal issues of long-term tenants. Companies routinely rent temporary accommodations on behalf of workers who may be relocating, receiving training, or working on a special project. Most will use the condo for three months to a year and may be traveling alone or with their family and pets.

Corporate rentals command higher rents because the units are furnished and outfitted to hotel standards. Many units that are marginal long-term rentals make excellent corporate rentals if they are in a good location close to the financial or business centres of the city. Dunowen Properties will conduct a professional analysis of your unit and make recommendations so you can achieve the highest possible rent and the least vacancy. We can also work with your visiting schedule, if you use the unit as a pied-à-terre, and would like it to be vacant for your time here and rented while you’re away.

Contact us to see if corporate rentals are right for your circumstance. You might be able to avoid the tax if your property is currently vacant.