The City of Ottawa offers two deferral programs for property taxes for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for a full or partial deferral of their annual property taxes. Under this program, the City defers full payment of annual property taxes, at a reduced interest rate, for those who meet the eligibility criteria. The City also offers a water utility deferral program for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities.
The City of Ottawa offers two deferral programs for property taxes for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Eligible homeowners may apply for a full or partial deferral of their annual property taxes. Under this program, the City defers partial payment of annual property taxes, at a reduced interest rate, for eligible homeowners. The City also offers a water utility deferral program for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities.
Property Tax Relief- Provincial Programs
- Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant: Program that helps low-to-moderate income seniors with the cost of their property taxes. If you file your personal income tax and benefit return annually and qualify for the grant, you could get up to $500 each year depending on your adjusted family income. You need to file your tax return to apply for this grant, even if you don't have income to report. You may qualify for the grant even if you do not owe income tax.
- Ontario Energy and Property Tax Credit: Program offered under the Ontario Trillium Benefit that provides a tax-free payment to help you with your property taxes and sales tax on energy costs. Depending on eligibility, you could get a maximum of $1,277. You must apply for the Ontario Trillium Benefit by filing your personal Income Tax and Benefit Return and completing and enclosing the ON-BEN Application Form included in your tax return package. You must file your tax return even if you don't have any income to report.
Legislation passed by the Province of Ontario requires municipalities to provide eligible charities with rebates of at least 40 per cent of their property taxes for the space they occupy. The City of Ottawa will offer property tax rebates to qualifying charitable organizations.
Rebates for vacant commercial and industrial buildings
Effective 2018, the City of Ottawa no longer provides a rebate program for property tax relief on vacant commercial and industrial buildings. However, a recalculation of the vacancy rebate may be required if the property receives a decision to adjust the assessed value or classification of a property.
Landlord and tenant notices
Residential Rent Reductions
Under the Residential Tenancies Act, rents are automatically reduced if the municipal property taxes paid by the landlord for the residential complex have decreased by 2.5 per cent or more from the previous year's taxes.
Although the rent reductions apply to all residential complexes in these cases, the municipality is required to notify only those landlords and tenants of residential complexes with seven or more units.
Timing of rent reductions
Automatic rent reductions take effect on December 31 of the year the property taxes for the property decreased.
How are rent reductions calculated?
- In calculating automatic rent reductions, the property taxes for the current year are compared to the property taxes for the previous year to determine the percentage that taxes have decreased. The rent reduction must be calculated if the percentage decrease in taxes is more than 2.49 per cent.
- The actual property taxes levied for the rental property are used to calculate the rent reductions. Special levies, penalty charges, user fees, etc. are not included in calculating the rent reduction.
- The provincial factor used for property tax assessments in large rental buildings with seven units and more is 20 per cent, while a 15 per cent factor will be used for smaller rental buildings with 6 units or less. These percentages are, on average, the amount that taxes represent of a landlord's total rent revenue. To determine the percentage rent reduction in large buildings (seven units or more), the percentage decrease in taxes for the building is multiplied by 20 per cent.
|Rental building with seven units and more is 20%. Example 1: % rent reduction = % decrease in Taxes for building x 20%||Rental buildings with six units or less is 15%. Example 2: % rent reduction = % decrease in Taxes for building x 15%|
|Year 2013 taxes were: $20,000||Year 2013 taxes were: $20,000|
|Year 2014 taxes were: $18,000||Year 2014 taxes were: $18,000|
|The percentage decrease in building taxes is: $20,000-$18,000 x 100 = 10%||The percentage decrease in building taxes is: $20,000 - %18,000 = 10%|
|The percentage rent reduction is: 10% x 20% = 2%||The percentage rent reduction is: 10% x 15% = 1.5%|
|Taxes must have decreased by 2.5 per cent or more for the tenants to get a rent reduction. In this case, the taxes have decreased by 10 per cent, so the tenants would receive a rent reduction.||Taxes must have decreased by 2.5 per cent or more for the tenants to get a rent reduction. In this case, the taxes have decreased by 10 per cent, so the tenants would receive a rent reduction.|
|The amount of the rent reduction is 20 per cent of the tax decrease (see item 3 above)||The amount of the rent reduction is 15 per cent of the tax decrease (see item 3 above)|
|The tax decrease is 10 per cent. Therefore, the rent reduction is 10 per cent x 20 per cent = 2 per cent.||The tax decrease is 10 per cent. Therefore, the rent reduction is 10 per cent x 15 per cent - 1.5 per cent.|
Municipalities must send rent reduction notices to landlords between June 1 and September 15, and to tenants between October 1 and December 15.
The automatic rent reductions do not apply to commercial, industrial or recreational properties. Some residential properties, including public housing, non-profit housing projects and co-operatives, vacation homes and some housing owned by educational institutions are also exempt.
If landlords or tenants feel the rent reduction is too high or too low, they can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to have the amount of the rent reduction varied.
Applications must be made to the Board by March 31 of the year following the effective date of the rent reduction. A landlord or tenant can apply if any of the following circumstances applies:
- The landlord paid certain charges that were not included when the municipality calculated the percentage rent reduction.
- The amount the landlord pays in property taxes is not equal to 20% or 15% of the landlord’s total rent revenue (depending on the number of units in the complex).
- The amount of the tax reduction or rent reduction in the municipality's notice is wrong.
- The property taxes for the year under consideration increased or decreased after the notice of rent reduction was sent to landlords and tenants.
The Landlord and Tenant Board has 20 offices across Ontario and can be reached 24-hours-a-day by calling this toll free number, 1-888-332-3234. The Eastern District Office in Ottawa can be reached at 1-888-377-8805. The Landlord and Tenant Board’s Web site offers information brochures and applications for rent reduction. The same website also offers information on the automatic rent reductions process.