Following Vancouver City Council’s decision last month to introduce an Empty Homes Tax, property owners will start receiving notifications by email and mail this week, outlining details of the tax. The City of Vancouver has joined with LandlordBC to offer support and information to the owners of empty and underutilized homes who wish to become landlords.
Designed to boost rental housing supply in a city that according to the most recent CMHC numbers has a vacancy rate of 0.7%, the Empty Homes Tax will apply to those properties that are neither an owner's principal residence nor being rented on a long-term basis.
The City of Vancouver wants to support owners in putting these properties on the rental market in order to increase the number of rental homes for local residents who are struggling to find a place to live.
"The Empty Homes Tax is just one of several steps City Hall is taking to boost rental supply and bring relief to renters by turning some of the thousands of empty and underused homes in Vancouver into rental properties,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Landlord BC supports owners who want to become landlords though education, tools and operational advice. In this tough housing market, it's unacceptable for so much housing to be treated as a commodity. The City will continue to do everything we can to help residents find an affordable, secure place to live."
LandlordBC has created a webpage specifically for Vancouver homeowners who are interested in becoming landlords. This professional association of owners and managers of rental housing offers numerous resources to those who would like to earn income from renting their vacation or investment properties, including proprietary forms, a credit check platform, a legislative help line, and educational events.
“LandlordBC is BC’s top resources for owners and managers of rental housing. We are pleased to partner with the City of Vancouver to ensure that the new landlords resulting from this initiative will have access to the information and tools they need to deliver quality long-term rental housing,” says David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord BC.
Landlord BC is offering Vancouver homeowners a 20 per cent discount on inclusion in its Landlord Registry. This fee will be waived if a homeowner elects to join the organization by paying a membership fee. As well, LandlordBC is hosting a free webinar titled Landlord 101 on January 19, 2017: interested parties can register at landlordbc.ca/empty-homes.