Vancouver homeowners are now required to declare whether or not their properties are rented.
To compel property owners to comply with this new mandatory requirement, city staff are recommending a $250 fine against those who fail to report the rental status of their homes.
It may even get worse for some.
According to a staff report, failure to “submit a property status declaration is an offence under the Vacancy Tax By-law so the City can also prosecute for fines which would be imposed by the court and would range from $250 to a maximum of $10,000 per day of the continuing offence”.
The report will be considered by city council Tuesday (October 31).
In 2016, council voted 8-3 in favour of a tax on empty or underutilized homes.
Vision Vancouver and Green councillors voted in favour of the measure, with the three councillors with the Non-Partisan Association going the other way.
Under the empty home tax, a property left vacant for at least six months is subject to a one percent levy based on its assessed value.
The tax took effect this year, which means that vacant homes in 2017 will be subject to the tax.
Homeowners should expect by mail in November this year instructions on how to submit a property status declaration, along with advance tax notices.
A property status declaration must be submitted by February 2, 2018, or else the home will be subject to the vacancy tax.
In June 2017, the city’s general manager of planning, urban design, and sustainability wrote in a report to council that there are 21,820 vacant homes in Vancouver based on the 2016 Census.
Gil Kelley stated in his report that 3,675 additional homes were found on Census day to be used by temporary and foreign residents.More