BC owners of strata property in buildings with rental restrictions are no longer exempt from the BC Speculation and Vacancy Tax (SVT) as of January 1, 2022.
This exemption, which ends December 31, 2021, applied to strata property owners who:
- were banned from renting units due to a rental restriction in place on or before October 16, 2018; and
- had bought the strata property before that date.
As of January 1, 2022, strata owners of unoccupied units are required to pay the SVT.
Strata hotel owners
Owners of units in a strata hotel are exempt from the SVT as of January 1, 2022.
This exemption was introduced as a temporary measure but was made permanent in 2022; it is now available for the 2018 and subsequent tax years.
The SVT is an annual tax of 0.5 per cent of the assessed property value for Canadian citizens or permanent residents and two per cent for properties owned by foreigner owners and satellite families.
Owners must pay the tax unless they rent the property for six months (180 days) out of every year.
The SVT was introduced in 2018 to discourage housing speculation and encourage owners of vacant homes to rent the homes long term during a rental and affordable housing crisis.
The SVT applies to specific areas, including: Metro Vancouver (excluding Bowen Island, Lions Bay and Whistler). Greater Victoria, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Kelowna and West Kelowna, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission.
There’s a range of exemptions, including for:
- water-access-only properties;
- just inherited properties; and
- properties with an assessed value less than $150,000.