Tax Sale

Tax Sale Process


The following notes are intended to provide a general outline of the tax sale process. For more information about the annual sale of properties, prospective purchasers should consult the Local Government Act, in particular (but not limited to) Sections 645 to 672.

  • The District is required by the Local Government Act to sell at Tax Sale all properties whose taxes have not been paid for 3 years.
  • The Local Government Act gives the Collector authority to sell a property for the Upset Price which equals all outstanding taxes + penalties + interest + 5% tax sale costs + Land Title Office fees.
  • All property sales are "as is" without warrant or guarantee by the District of Highlands.

Advertising


  • The Local Government Act requires municipalities to advertise in a local paper (Goldstream Gazette) not less than 3, or more than 10 days prior to the Tax Sale.
  • The legal description and street address must be published.
  • To avoid your property being listed in this ad in the newspaper, your delinquent taxes must be paid approximately 2 weeks prior to the Tax Sale date.

Tax Sale


  • A public auction will be held at 10am, on the last Monday in September each year at the District Office, 1980 Millstream Road.
  • Bidding is accepted on all properties.
  • Prospective bidders are advised that it is their responsibility to search the title of the property in advance to determine if there are any charges registered against the property.
  • The minimum bid is the amount of the Upset Price.
  • If no bidding takes place within 3 calls by the Collector (auctioneer), the District is declared the purchaser at the Upset Price.

Purchasing Property


  • The successful bidder is required to have their SIN or BN (Business Number) and/or your corporate seal.
  • Payment is to be in the form of cash or certified cheque for at least the upset price amount at the close of the Tax Sale.
  • The balance owing must be received by 12:00 pm on the day of the Tax Sale.
  • If full payment is not received by 12:00 pm on the day of the Tax Sale, the Collector again offers the property for sale.

Notifying Charge Holders


  • The Collector is required by law to search all property titles and within 90 days after Tax Sale notify all registered charge holders shown on each property.

Redemption


  • The original owner has one year after the property is sold at Tax Sale to pay the taxes and buy back their property. This is called redemption.
  • All registered charge holders have full right to redeem the property.
  • To redeem the property, the charge holder must remit the full upset price, plus interest on the purchase price at a rate set by the Province, within one year of the Tax Sale.
  • As soon as the property is redeemed, the Collector will refund to the Tax Sale purchaser the purchase price, plus interest to the date of redemption.

Rights During Redemption Period



Local Government Act - Section 665
  1. When real property is sold at a tax sale under this Act, all rights in it held by the person who at the time of the sale was the owner, the registered owner in fee simple or the registered owner of a registered charge on the property, immediately cease to exist, except as follows:
  • the property is subject to redemption as provided in this Act;
  • the right of possession of the property is not affected during the time allowed for redemption, subject, however, to
    • impeachment for waste, and
    • the right of the purchaser at the tax sale to enter on the property sold to maintain it in a proper condition and to prevent waste;
  • during the period allowed for redemption, an action may be brought under section 422 to have the tax sale set aside and declared invalid.
2. During the period allowed for redemption, subsection (1) does not operate to affect in any way the rights of the owner, the registered owner in fee simple or the owner of a registered charge, among or as between themselves.

Property Not Redeemed


If the property is not redeemed during the one year period, the Collector registers the new owner at the Land Titles Office in Victoria, thus cancelling all previous registered charges, except for those matters set out in Section 276(1) (c) to (g) of the Land Title Act and any lien of the Crown, an improvement district or a local district.

The new owners are required to pay the property sales tax to the Provincial Sales Tax Administrator after application has been made to register in the Land Titles Office.