The Vacant Home Tax (VHT) was enacted in Toronto and Ottawa for the 2022 calendar year. The City of Hamilton approved the implementation of the VHT for the 2023 calendar year.

All residential property owners (including Individuals, Corporations, Trusts, or Partnerships)  in these municipalities are required to declare the status of their property(s) annually, by February 1 of the next calendar year to determine if they are subject to the VHT.

The VHT (currently 1%) will be calculated on the Current Value Assessment (CVA) of any residential property deemed to be vacant for a period of more than six months during the previous calendar year, unless it is determined to be an exempt vacancy.

Exempt Vacancy

Owners may be exempt from the tax where a home is vacant for an extended period of time due to:

  • Renovations or repairs, where:
    • Normal occupation prevented for at least 6 months
    • All requisite permits issued
    • Work is being carried out without unnecessary delay
  • Death of the owner;
  • Principal resident is in care, for up to two consecutive years;
  • Occupancy required for employment for a minimum of six months in a year, where an owner has a principal residence elsewhere;
  • Court order prohibiting the sale or rental of the property; or
  • Transfer of legal ownership from an arm’s length individual or corporation in the previous year.

Principal residences may be vacant for a maximum of six months in a year without being subject to tax.

Failure to file may result in the property being deemed vacant, and the 1% VHT assessed.