Property tax sales

If property taxes remain unpaid for a specific period of time, the Municipal Act provides for the sale of the property. The City registers a Tax Arrears Certificate if taxes remain unpaid on vacant or improved land for three years prior to January 1 of any year. These time lines apply to both residential and non-residential classes of property.

A Tax Arrears Certificate indicates that the property will be sold if taxes, penalties, interest and reasonable costs incurred by the City are not paid within one year of registration of the certificate. Once a certificate has been registered, partial payments cannot be accepted, but a Council approved repayment schedule may be arranged with the owner prior to the expiry of the one-year period.

The City may advertise the property for sale for non-payment of taxes if the cancellation price is not paid within one year of registration of the certificate. Advertisements are generally published in the Ottawa Sun, Le Droit, for four consecutive weeks and the Ontario Gazette for one week. Using forms provided by the Revenue Branch, the bid plus a certified cheque for 20 per cent of the tendered amount must be submitted in a sealed envelope prior to the specified time. To be eligible, bids must be at least equal to the advertised minimum tender amount. The successful purchasers will be required to pay the amount tendered plus accumulated taxes, penalties and interest, HST if applicable and the relevant land transfer tax. 

From the day of notification to the highest bidder, this eligible bidder has 14 calendar days to complete the transaction. All tax properties are sold without warranty and are sold as is. Further information will be made available at the time of advertising of the Tax Sale properties.

For more detailed information please read the following information bulletin.

Need more information?
Send us your request with your name, address, telephone number:

  • in writing at the City of Ottawa, Revenue Branch, 100 Constellation Drive, 4th Floor, Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8
  • by fax at 613-580-2457 or
  • by e-mail at and we would be pleased to respond to your query as quickly as possible.

Last updated: July 24, 2015