Vacant Unit Tax
The Vacant Unit Tax (VUT) is an annual tax payable by the owner of an eligible residential property that has been vacant for more than 183 days in the previous calendar year. The tax is intended to encourage owners to rent out empty properties in order to increase the supply and affordability of housing in the city.
All residential property owners in Hamilton are required to declare the occupancy of their properties by submitting a mandatory occupancy declaration every year, starting in January 2024. If an occupancy declaration is not submitted, the property will be considered vacant and the VUT will be charged.
A principal residence will not be subject to the VUT, but it is still required to submit an occupancy declaration.
A residential unit will be considered vacant and subject to the tax if the owner:
- Fails to make a mandatory occupancy declaration by the deadline;
- Makes a false mandatory occupancy declaration;
- Does not provide information or submit any evidence required by the City;
- Provides false information or submits false evidence to the City; or
- If at least one unit within the eligible property is unoccupied.
Eligible properties are determined using the property code assigned by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC).
The City conducted a Vacant Home Tax online engagement survey from September 7 to 30, 2021. The goal of the survey was to collect feedback from interested stakeholders on the need to implement a tax on properties that are left vacant for a certain period of time, as well as possible issues to consider in implementing the tax.
View the survey results on Engage Hamilton here: https://engage.hamilton.ca/vht