The City of Ottawa has recently implemented a Vacant Unit Tax (VUT), which requires homeowners to declare their occupancy status for 2022 by March 16, 2023.
This new tax is meant to encourage owners of vacant rental units to make them available for rent to help alleviate the housing crisis in the city.
If your house sat empty in 2022 for more than 184 days, the city wants to know about it. They want you to make it available as a rental OR pay a tax for having it sit empty.
Every homeowner must fill in a declaration for their primary residence and any investment property they might have.
It’s not hard to do. It took me less than 5 minutes (as long as you have the letter that the city mailed out in November).
It’s an online declaration through the city website. You can fill this in on behalf of someone else. So if you have elderly parents or know someone who does have access to the internet, you may want to see if they need assistance.
Here is a quick overview of what to do:
1. Go to www.Ottawa.ca/VUT
2. Have your letter ready from the city; in the top right-hand corner, you will see the roll number & access code. Enter those in & search the property
3. Search Property
*make sure the right address appears & click YES
4. Hit Next
5. List who is making the declaration
- Registered Owner
- On behalf of the Owner
- on behalf of a Corporation
6. Enter your contact details.
7. Hit Next
8. You will then be asked, “How was this property occupied during 2022.”
- Owner’s principal home
- None of the above (I don’t know what happens if you select this option)
If this property is an investment property for you, then you enter the dates January 1 2022-December 31 2022 (assuming the tenant lived there for the full year). If the tenant moved in a portion of the year and you lived there a portion, then you have two different occupancy types
9. Hit Next
10. There is a final declaration, ensuring that you have been truthful 😀
AND THAT IS IT! You’ll receive an email saying it’s done.