Owners who purchase rental properties and plan to leave them vacant will now be taxed an extra 2% on that property. The newly designed tax is primarily to encourage home owners to rent out their properties rather than let them sit empty for extended periods of time. Vancouver renters are in a panic mode with rental opportunities they can actually afford becoming harder and harder to find. The tax will be a way to help ease the enormous stress on young families, students and retired people who simply cannot find an affordable place to call home.
The proposed tax would go towards affordable housing for those who are struggling and would only effect properties that are vacant year round. Vancouver is the first city to implement such a tax as rents have gone through the roof and available affordable housing has become almost extinct.
Snowballing foreign investment has prompted the government to take action to try and alleviate the enormous pressure on Vancouver residents to find rental homes they can afford for their families.
With Vancouver’s vacancy rate hovering at 0.6% the tax could help bring this rate up.
Other details, confirmed by Mayor Greg Robertson in the article in the link below included:
If audited, owners will have to prove that the home was a principal residence for the owner, a tenant or a licensee.
Proof of primary residency could include a B.C. driver’s licence or BCID, a completed Home Owner Grant, a tenancy agreement or similar documentation.
If the owner is unable to prove the home was a principal residence for a minimum number of days in the previous year (to be determined by staff through consultation this fall), the tax will apply.
If a declaration is not made, legislation allows for owners to automatically be charged the empty homes tax.
Homes that are vacant because they are awaiting development permits or are in probate will be exempt.
Please visit the link below to understand fully the “empty home tax”