Prior to submitting a Tender
Before you submit a tender for a tax sale properties, be aware of the following:
- This process is buyer beware. You must undertake due diligence with respect to all aspects of the property.
- You may drive past the property, but site visits are not available.
- There is no vacant possession. The successful bidder will not receive a key to the property. The successful bidder is responsible for the eviction process if necessary.
- You may be are responsible for any Federal or Provincial liens on title. We recommend you do a title search before submitting your bid.
- You should investigate zoning, planning or building restrictions, and work orders.
- You are responsible for any environmental concerns if there are contamination issues with the property.
- You should retain a lawyer to protect your interests before submitting a bid.
How to submit a tender
- Complete the Form 7 Tender to Purchase (PDF, 206 KB). If there are errors or missing information on your form, we may reject your bid.
- Review the Information Bulletin (PDF, 30 KB).
- Place the completed form and a certified cheque or money order payable to the City of Hamilton for the deposit in the tender envelope (PDF, 10 KB). Your deposit must be at least 20% of the your bid amount. We will reject bids with deposits less than 20% of the bid. Your bid amount must be at least the minimum bid advertised. The minimum bid is the amount of outstanding overdue taxes and related charges plus the appropriate and outstanding penalties and interest.
Submit the tender envelope by 3 pm and ensure it is time-stamped on by the day of the tax sale to:
1st Floor Citizen Service Centre
71 Main Street West
Do not submit your tender envelope by mail or courier. We cannot guarantee that bids submitted this way will be properly time-stamped and deposited into the sealed locked tender box by the 3 pm deadline.
- City staff will time-stamp your envelope and place it into the sealed locked tender box.
- Throughout the tax sale, the City will work with the owner to resolve the outstanding taxes and cancel the property from the sale when a payment plan or payment is made.
- Properties cancelled from the sale will be marked as cancelled online and in the Spectator or the Ontario Gazette when possible.
- If you submitted a bid on a property that is cancelled you can retrieve your bid and deposit when the bids are publicly opened on the day of the tax sale.
- Staff open bids in public in a designated room at City Hall after 3 pm on the day of the Tax Sale.
- We will sort bids by property.
- We will set bids on cancelled properties aside for pickup.
- The remaining bids for each property are opened and examined to ensure:
- they are in a sealed envelope
- Form 7 is filled out accurately and completely
- a deposit of at least 20% of the bid is enclosed
- We will identify the highest and second highest bidders.
- You can pick up unsuccessful bids at this time. You must have identification to pick up your bid.
- We will contact bidders not in attendance to arrange pickup of bids and deposits.
Completing tax sale transactions
If two bids of equal amount are tendered, then the person who submitted the earlier bid as indicated by the time stamp will be deemed to be the higher bid.
We will notify the highest bidder in writing to let them know they are the successful bidder.
The highest bidder has two weeks to complete the tax sale transaction by:
- signing the required legal documents
- paying the balance of the bid and any related federal or provincial taxes
If the highest bidder does not complete the transaction within two weeks:
- the deposit is forfeited to the City
- the property will be offered to the second highest bidder following the same process
After the transaction is complete:
- the buyer will receive a Deed in Fee Simple to confirm title of the property
- the former owner has no further opportunity to resolve the outstanding taxes and will lose title of the property
If the bid exceeds the outstanding taxes:
- The balance must be paid into court.
- Anyone registered on title at the time the lien was registered may request a portion of these funds by applying to the court.
- The court will determine the allocation of excess funds after one year.
Properties with no bids
The City has two years from the time of the failed tax sale to decide what to do with properties receiving no bids.
The City can choose to:
- Advertise the property for tax sale again.
- Vest the property and take possession to use or to dispose of.
- Advertise Request for Offers.
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