Empty Homes Cost 5% of Assessed Value and Lower Number of Vacant Properties

Empty Homes Cost 5% of Assessed Value and Lower Number of Vacant Properties

After five years of the Empty Home Tax (EHT) being in effect, the total number of vacant properties within Vancouver has fallen to 1,398 homes or 36% fewer properties compared to 2017, when the tax regime first launched.

The provincial government anticipates its newly approved legislation banning stratas from restricting homeowners from renting out their units will potentially add thousands of homes to the rental supply market. Through Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT) data, it is estimated about 2,300 empty condominiums across BC cannot be rented due to strata rules.

 The EHT and the SVT are similar in that they are both designed to turn empty homes into long-term housing for people who live and work in Vancouver. They also ensure foreign owners and those with primarily foreign income contribute fairly to British Columbia’s tax system.

The speculation and vacancy tax is an annual tax based on how owners use residential properties in major urban areas in B.C. The provincial government is taking action to address this crisis through the annual speculation and vacancy tax, which will contribute towards turning empty homes into good housing for people who live and work in B.C. and supporting affordable housing initiatives.

In April 2022, the previous makeup of Vancouver City Council approved a hike of the EHT rate to 5% on the assessed value of a property for the 2023 tax year. This is up from the current rate of 3% for the 2021 and 2022 tax years.

When the EHT was first introduced in 2017, the rate was 1%, and its first increase in 2020 saw it grow to 1.25%.

Only one owner of the property must complete a declaration under the Empty Homes Tax. The Speculation and Vacancy Tax makes it compulsory for all owners of a property to file individual declarations. The Empty Homes Tax is specific to the City of Vancouver. If you are not a Vancouver resident, don't fret, it does not apply to you.

Vancouver homeowners may be required to pay one or both taxes, so be sure to submit declarations for both the EHT and the SVT. Even if you live in your home, you must make these declarations every year. 

EHT Details

To read the exemptions and more FAQs regarding the Empty Homes Tax, go HERE.

EHT Declaration Timeline

  • Previous years' unpaid tax added to property tax bill: December 31, 2022

  • Declaration Deadline: February 2, 2023

  • Empty Homes Tax Payment for 2021 Deadline: April 14, 2023

Late declarations are subject to a $250 fine.

What You Need to Submit Your EHT Declaration

SVT Details

To read the exemptions and more FAQs regarding the Speculation and Vacancy Tax, go HERE.

SVT Declaration Timeline:

  • Receive your declaration letter mid-January to mid-February

  • Declare by March 31

  • If you owe tax, pay by the first business day in July

What You Need to Submit Your SVT Declaration

  • Your Letter ID and Declaration Code, which can be found at the top right corner of your letter

  • Go HERE to submit your declaration


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