Property Taxes

Vacant Home Tax

Background

In June 2022, City Council approved the implementation of the Vacant Home Tax in Hamilton. Starting in 2024, residential properties that have been unoccupied for six (6) months during the previous year will have to pay an additional tax.

The Vacant Home 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 will be required to declare the status of their property during the previous year; if no declaration is made, the property will be deemed vacant and will be subject to the tax.

There may be some exceptions to the tax if a home is vacant for an extended period of time as a result of a specific circumstance. The City will consider the following list as possible exemptions:

  • Vacancy due to renovations with appropriate building permits
  • Vacancy due to the death of the owners
  • Vacancy because the occupant was residing in a healthcare facility
  • Vacancy due to a court order prohibiting the owner from selling or renting the property
  • A property transferred under a non-arms length sale in the previous year

A complete framework of the Vacant Home Tax program will be presented to City Council in January 2023.

Public Engagement

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

Documents