The tax sale is a public auction of properties within a municipality which have outstanding property taxes for the past three years. The Local Government Act requires municipalities in British Columbia to hold a tax sale each year on the last Monday in September at 10:00 am.
Notice of the time and place of the tax sale and a description of each property subject to the tax sale will be posted on this webpage and updated to meet the requirements in the Local Government Act. Daily updates will be made one week prior to the actual tax sale date.
The next tax sale will be on Monday, September 28, 2020.
What is a Tax Sale and how does it work?
The tax sale is a public auction of properties within a municipality which have outstanding property taxes from two years prior to the current year. The tax sale is held annually on the last Monday of September at 10 a.m. at the council chambers in the Municipal Hall of each municipality in BC.
Notice of the time and place of the tax sale and the description and street address of each property subject to tax sale must be published in at least 2 issues of a newspaper. The last publication of the tax sale must be at least 3 days and not more than 10 days before the date of the tax sale.
Taxpayers may remove the property from the auction by paying the full amount of delinquent taxes plus interest prior to the auction; Thus, very few properties may be auctioned, although quite a number were advertised.
The lowest amount for which a property may be sold at tax sale is the upset price. The upset price is the sum of all the property taxes outstanding as at the date of the tax sale, plus all applicable penalties and interest, plus an additional 5% of all taxes, penalties and interest, plus all applicable Land Title Act fees.
The highest bidder above the upset price must be declared the purchaser. If there is no bid, or no bid equal to the upset price, the municipality must be declared the purchaser.
The successful bidder must pay the upset price by cash, certified cheque or bank draft immediately following the tax sale and must pay the remainder of the full bid price by cash, certified cheque or bank draft no later than 3:00 p.m. on the date of the tax sale. Failure to pay the upset price at the tax sale auction will result in the property promptly being offered for sale again and failure to pay the balance amount by 3:00 p.m. on the date of the tax sale will result in the property being offered for sale again at 10:00 a.m. on the following day. Debit card payments will not be accepted.The collector must give the purchaser a tax certificate and promptly file the notice of tax sale at the land title office.
Within 3 months of the tax sale, the collector must give written notice of the tax sale, including the day the redemption period ends either, to the owner(s) of the property by serving the notice or by registered mail.
During the period allowed for redemption, a tax sale property must continue to be assessed and taxed in the owner’s name.
A tax sale property may be redeemed from tax sale within one year of the date of the tax sale by the owner of the property, an owner of a registered charge against the property or another person on their behalf.
The amount to redeem a tax sale property is the sum of the upset price, plus all costs of which the collector has had notice that have been incurred by the purchaser in maintenance of the tax sale property and in prevention of waste, plus taxes advanced by the purchaser, plus prescribed interest to the date of redemption.
During the period of redemption, the owner retains the right to possession of the tax sale property.
The purchaser has the right to enter on the tax sale property to maintain it in proper condition and to prevent waste. On redemption of a tax sale property, the purchaser is entitled to receive all amounts paid by the purchaser, together with prescribed interest.
If the tax sale property is redeemed, the collector must promptly file a notice of redemption at the land title office. If the tax sale property is not redeemed, the collector must file a notice of non-redemption at the land title office.
The City of Courtenay makes no representation express or implied as to the condition or quality of the properties being offered for sale. Prospective purchasers are urged to make all necessary inquiries to the municipal and other government departments, and in the case of strata lots to the strata corporation to determine the existence of any bylaws, restrictions, charges or other conditions which may affect the value or suitability of the property. Please do not trespass onto any property being offered for sale, as doing so would be an infringement of the owner's rights and may lead to liability against the trespasser.
Potential buyers should review matters relating to a purchase at tax sale with their legal counsel as some charges, liens, mortgages, and conditions will not be cleared by conveyance to the purchaser.
In the case of non-redemption of a property subject to the Strata Property Act, a tax sale purchaser is responsible for the payment of any outstanding strata fees and charges which must be paid to the strata corporation prior to conveyance of the property.
The purchase of a tax sale property is subject to tax under the Property Transfer Tax Act on the fair market value of the property at the time of conveyance.