The new Vacant Property By-law comes into effect Tuesday, November 1. Vacant lots and buildings that have been unoccupied for 120 consecutive days are required to have a vacant property permit, with limited exemptions. On Wednesday, June 8, City Council approved this new by-law and permit system to hold property owners accountable for managing their vacant properties.
In addition to obtaining a permit, the Vacant Property By-law requires owners to comply with regulations for identifying, managing and visiting their sites. The vacant property permit system is intended to increase accountability for the owners of vacant buildings and lands, prevent neglect and harmful community impacts that vacancies can cause, and encourage the redevelopment or repurposing of existing vacant properties.
Annual permits cost $1,507 ($1,450 for the permit plus a $57 administrative fee). The fee revenue covers the cost of two new full-time City positions to enforce and administer the by-law. Permit exemptions can be made for snowbirds, travelling workers and vacation properties. Some vacant properties are also exempt from a permit for a maximum of two years on certain compassionate grounds, such as an owner who was in care or a property vacant due to a catastrophic event.
For more information on vacant properties and units, visit the Vacant Properties page on ottawa.ca. For more information specific to the permit application, requirements and costs, visit the Vacant Property and/or Vacant Land Permit webpage.