Applying for a Vacancy Rebate
Your municipality may offer vacancy rebates to owners of eligible vacant properties.
Purpose of the Vacancy Rebate Program
The purpose of the Vacancy Rebate Program is to provide property tax relief through rebates to owners of vacant commercial and industrial buildings.
Who this information is for
This information is for owners of vacant commercial and industrial buildings or commercial and industrial buildings with vacant space.
To be eligible for the Vacancy Rebate Program, you must meet the following criteria.
Buildings that are entirely vacant
You may be eligible if no portion of your commercial or industrial building or structure was used at any time in a 90-consecutive-day period.
Buildings that are partially vacant
Commercial or landfill
A portion of your commercial building (office building, shopping centre, etc.) or a property in the landfill class may be eligible if it has met all of the following criteria for at least 90 consecutive days:
- A portion of your building was unused.
- The unused portion was clearly delineated or separated by physical barriers from the used portion of the building.
- The unused portion of the building was one of the following:
- Capable of being leased for immediate occupation.
- Capable of being leased but not for immediate occupation because it was in need of, or undergoing, repairs or renovations or was under construction.
- Was unfit for occupation.
A portion of your industrial building (large industrial) will be eligible if, for at least 90 consecutive days, the portion of the building was both of the following:
- clearly delineated or separated by physical barriers from the portion of the building that was used.
Eligible property excludes any portion that is:
- Exempt from taxes for municipal and school purposes for the year.
- Not included in the same class of real property for the taxation year as the eligible property.
- Classified in the subclass for excess land.
For the purposes of this rebate, the following circumstances do not constitute "use," in the absence of other activity:
- Construction, repairs or renovations of the building, structure or portion of the building.
- Heating, cooling, lighting or cleaning of the building, structure or portion of the building.
- Presence of fixtures such as shelving units that are bolted to the wall or floor.
Properties that are not eligible for the vacancy rebate
- Seasonal: A building, structure or a portion of a building that is used for commercial or industrial activity on a seasonal basis.
- Leased: A building, structure or portion of a building that is leased to a tenant in possession of a leasehold interest.
- Subclasses: A building, structure or portion of a building that is included in a vacant land subclass.
Municipalities that do not provide vacancy rebates
Some municipalities are phasing out or no longer offering vacancy rebates. An inventory of the municipalities that have stopped this program or are phasing it out is included in Ontario Regulation 581/17.
As of July 1, 2018, the City of Toronto is not required to have a program that provides tax rebates to owners of property that have vacant portions.
Vacancy Rebate Application deadline
The deadline to submit a Vacancy Rebate Application is the last day of February in the year following the taxation year in respect of which the application is made.
Omitted assessment exception
The exception to the above deadline is when we issue an omitted assessment for either of the two preceding tax years. In this case, the deadline to submit an application for rebate is 90 days after the issue date of the Property Assessment Change Notice that accounts for the assessment update of the omitted assessment.
The process of applying for a Vacancy Rebate
You must apply to your municipality for a vacancy rebate.
How to apply for your rebate
- You or your authorized representative submits a Vacancy Rebate Application to your municipality. You must submit one of the following:
- One application for all vacancies that occurred on a property during the period of one taxation year.
- An interim application for the vacancies that occurred during the first six months of the year, and a second application for vacancies that occurred during the last six months of the taxation year.
- The owner or authorized representative must provide full evidence of the vacant area and ensure that the application to the municipality is complete. The application must include:
- Your name or the name of the agent/representative acting on your behalf.
- Municipal address and assessment roll number.
- Dates of vacancy for the period covered by the interim or final application(s).
- Description of the vacant portion of the property (e.g. suite or unit number and floor number, or description of location within building).
- Area of vacant space in square feet.
- Any additional documentation that the municipality or MPAC may require to assist in identifying eligible property.
2. Once your application has been received and reviewed by your municipality, the application will be forwarded to us.
3. We will determine the assessed value attributable to the area you have identified as vacant, and give your municipality the assessed value for that area.
4. Your municipality will calculate the tax rebate that applies to the vacant area and notify you or your representative.
Please contact your municipality for any additional information about the Vacancy Rebate Application Program, including requests for application forms.
Start the process
Find out if your municipality offers vacancy rebates. See Ontario Regulation 581/17.