The City of Vancouver will levy a tax on vacant residential properties starting in 2017 in an effort to increase housing stock in Vancouver. It is proposed that the tax be administered through an annual declaration by property owners regarding the status of the property, random and targeted audits and a complaint process whereby individuals can report suspected vacant homes.

The vacancy tax is not intended to apply to residential properties that are occupied by the owner as his or her principal residence, occupied by a family member or friend of the owner or rented to a long-term tenant. The tax rate and exemptions are expected to be finalized in November 2016.

Details regarding the proposed approach for implementing the vacancy tax can be found here: http://council.vancouver.ca/20160920/documents/rr1.pdf