Frequently Asked Questions

Serving Tax Sales Investors Since 2005

Membership - How Do I Cancel Monthly Recurring Membership

Log on to OTS then click on “My Account” in the top right menu.

Click “Subscriptions” then “View” then click “Cancel”

Cancelled--Can a tax sale be cancelled?

The treasurer of the municipality can cancel a tax sale at any time until a tax deed or “notice of vesting” (a deed naming the municipality as the new owner) is registered on title. A tax sale cannot be cancelled after a tax deed or notice of vesting has been registered.

Deposit with your tender

When you submit a tender it must be accompanied by a deposit.  The deposit must greater than or equal to 20% of the amount you are tendering.  For example, if you are tendering $5,000.00, your deposit must be for at least $1,000.00.  If the deposit is less than 20% of the amount you are tendering, it will be rejected and you won’t be able to buy the property.

Deposit is made by way of money order, or by way of bank draft or cheque certified by a bank or authorized foreign bank within the meaning of section 2 of the Bank Act (Canada), a trust corporation registered under the Loan and Trust Corporations Act or a credit union within the meaning of the Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires Act, 1994.

Deposit money order, bank draft or certified cheque must be made out in favour of the municipality

Accumulated Taxes

The ‘Accumulated Taxes’ are any property taxes that come due between the first day that a property is advertised for tax sale and the day that the highest tenderer pays the full amount owing for their tender, including Land Transfer Tax, HST, and accumulated taxes.

This will usually be a relatively small amount, probably one or two months interest on the Minimum Tender Amount, at 1.25% interest per month.

Example:

Let’s say that the Minimum Tender Amount for a property is $10,000.00

The property is advertised for tax sale beginning on March 10th

The person with the highest tender pays the full amount owing on their tender, plus Land Transfer Tax, HST and Accumulated Taxes, on May 2nd.

The municipality adds 1.25% interest onto the tax account on the first day of each month.  So, interest would be added on April 1st and May 1st. 

Here’s the calculation for the Accumulated taxes:

$10,000.00    Minimum Tender Amount

X        1.25% Monthly interest rate

X             2 Interest for two months

=   $250.00    Amount of Accumulated Taxes that must be paid

If a property tax instalment had been due during the above timeframe that will also be added on to the Accumulated Taxes.

Chattels - Personal Property Left Behind

The tax sale would include the house. As long as it is affixed to the ground it is included in the sale. If the tax sale property had a mobile home or trailer – they would not be included in the sale.

Anything inside the house would not be included either. As far as the contents of the house and/or equipment on the property is concerned – anything that is moveable, the chattels, belong to the original owner.

You are not obligated to track down the old owner. 

Here is the potential problem – once you take title to the property, if there are any chattels on the property, the previous owner would be trespassing to remove them.

If any chattels remain and the old owner requests them – the removal of chattels will have to be worked out between you and the prior owner.

HST--Does HST have to be paid on tax sale properties?

13% HST must be paid on a tax sale property unless either,

1. The property has a residential building/unit/complex on it and this is not the first time that the property and residence has been sold,

Or,

2. The person buying the property is a HST registrant and you provide the municipality with the required paperwork indicating that you will “self-assess” and remit the required HST.

InfoPak--What's an InfoPak?

An InfoPak (formerly called Tender Package or Bid Package) is a collection of information about all the properties in a specific municipality that are currently being offered for tax sale.  A typical InfoPak includes some, or all, of the following information:

  1. Assessed value of the properties
  2. Annual taxes
  3. Street-level photo(s) of the properties
  4. Aerial photo(s) of the properties
  5. Municipal Property records
  6. Map
  7. Property information
  8. Instructions for submitting a tender
  9. Proper form to submit tender on
  10. Proper envelope for submitting a tender
  11. Advertisement for tax sale
  12. Directions to the properties
InfoPaks--How do I order an InfoPak

To get the InfoPak (Featured Properties Only):

  1. Login (if you are a member)
  2. Go to the Homepage or the Tax Sale Properties Page
  3. Click on the “Featured” Municipality you are interested in (We do not have InfoPaks for “Members Only” properties)
  4. At the top of the page you will see the InfoPak contents description and below the description is a button to order it
  5. Click the “Order InfoPak” button and add it to your cart (for members the price will show $0, if you are not a Gold member it will show $25)
  6. Check out
  7. In less than 2 minutes an email will be sent to you with a link to download the InfoPak
  8. Click the link in the email and save the InfoPak to your computer. You can also download the InfoPak by logging on to OTS, then from “My Account” by clicking “Orders”
InfoPaks--Do I need one for each property in a municipality?

No, one InfoPak will provide the information that you need for all the properties that a municipality is selling on a specific date.  For example, if a town is advertising ten properties for sale on a certain date, there will be one InfoPak and it will include information about all ten of those properties.

InfoPaks--How much do they cost?

InfoPaks are free for Monthly or Annual Members. For those who are not members, InfoPaks cost $25 .

InfoPaks--Do you have them for every property?

No, we only have InfoPaks for our Featured Properties.

The Featured listings have the additional information because we have agreements with those Municipalities to show the extra information as well as distribute their InfoPaks through our website.

We don’t have agreements with the Members Only listings to distribute their InfoPaks through our website. For any additional information, please contact the Municipalities.

InfoPaks--I did not receive the InfoPak I ordered

If you do not receive the email with the link to download the InfoPak within a few minutes of placing your order, check your junk/spam mail folder. The email will be in there.

Once logged on to OTS you can also go to “My Account” in the top right corner of the website and click “Orders” and download the InfoPak from there

InfoPaks--How will I receive InfoPaks that I buy from OTS?

If you order an InfoPak, you will instantly receive an email with a ‘download link’ in it. Just click on the download link to download the InfoPak to your computer.

NOTE:  The download link will remain active until the closing date and time (tender opening) of the tax sale.  After that you will not be able to download the InfoPak.

All documents will be viewable and printable in Adobe Reader.

Land Transfer Tax--How much Land Transfer Tax do I have to pay on a tax sale property?

Here’s how to calculate Land Transfer Tax for properties that are NOT in the City of Toronto:

If the purchase price is $55,000 or less, land transfer tax is 0.5% of the purchase price.

EXAMPLE: Purchase price of $10,000
Purchase Price $10,000.00
0.5% x 0.005
Land Transfer Tax $50.00
If the purchase price is greater than $55,000, land transfer tax is calculated as follows:
0.5% of the first $55,000
1% over $55,000 up to $250,000
1.5% over $250,000 up to $400,000
2% over $400,000
EXAMPLE: Purchase price of $450,000
0.5% of the first $55,000 = $ 275.00
1% over $55,000 up to $250,000 =$1,950.00
1.5% over $250,000 up to $400,000 =$2,250.00
2% over $400,000 =$1,000.00
TOTAL LAND TRANSFER TAX $5,475.00

Amounts exceeding $2,000,000.00 where the land contains one or two single family residences: 2.5%

The Land Transfer Tax Rate for the City of Toronto has a rate that is calculated in addition to the above.
As a taxation measure granted under the City of Toronto Act,2006, Toronto City Council approved a new Municipal Land Transfer Tax effective February 1, 2008 that will be applied to purchases on all properties in the city of Toronto in addition to the Province’s Land Transfer Tax.

Locating a Property - Google Map

The best way to locate a “Featured Property” is to use the Google map for the property. We have placed the map on the OTS website for your convenience. Not every property has an address so anyone looking to find a property can locate the property by using the longitude and latitude that is associated with the map. Simply key these numbers into your GPS and it will take you right to the location of the property as it is shown on the map.

This is how you find the property with the Google map:

  1. Go to OntarioTaxSales.ca
  2. Click the Municipality name for any of the Featured properties.
  3. Scroll until you see the green “Click for more details” button. Click it.
  4. The box below the aerial or street level photo is a Google map. If you don’t see a “green arrow” on the map, zoom out by pressing the “-” until it appears.
  5. Hover your mouse over the green arrow without clicking. You will see the numbers similar to these: 44.797120, -80.915710
  6. Key those numbers into your GPS. They are the latitude and longitude location of the property.

A cool feature: Below the Google map in the bottom left corner there is a link that says “View Larger Map”. Click it. On the next page at the top left click “Get Directions”. Key your address in the “A” box and click the blue “Get Directions” button and Google will give you directions to the property from your home.

Locating a Property - QR Codes

This is how you find the property with the QR code:

  1. Most phones can read a QR code just by using the camera. Older phones may require a free QR Code reader app
  2. Go to OntarioTaxSales.ca
  3. Click any Municipality name
  4. Scroll down to the first property listed
  5. The black and white square in the top middle of the screen is the QR code. Start up the QR code reader on your phone (or your camera on the iPhone) and hold your camera up to your computer screen over the QR code.
  6. Within a few seconds your phone will read the code and open Google maps with an arrow pointing to the property. Use “Get Directions” to find out how far the property is from your current location. Hop in your car and your phone will navigate you to the property as it is shown on the map.
No Tenders - What happens to the property
  1. The property can be re-listed as a tax sale
  2. The property can be transferred to the Town and sold as surplus property.
  3. The Town can choose to do nothing with the property.

There are rules. If there were no bids, the Town has the option of taking title to (Vesting)  the property. For any tax sale that happened over 2 years ago, they can’t vest the property in their name. Their right to do so has expired. The Town has to decide if the property is worth taking title to. For example, If the owner didn’t pay his income tax and there is a huge federal crown lien, the Town probably wouldn’t want it because the federal lien will remain on title.

Once the property has been vested (title of the property has been transferred to the Town), they have to go to Council and declare the property as “surplus”. Once that is done they can offer the property for sale. They can use a real estate agent, or list it on their website, or use our “surplusproperty.ca” website to advertise it. They can choose what price they want to sell it for. The selling price can be market value.

"Subject to Executions if Enforceable"...

…What should I do if this is not removed from title after my tax deed has been registered?

If the execution is in favour of the Crown

You will not be able to have this removed from title until you have paid off the Crown interest.  As part of your dealings with the Crown, you should obtain a written assurance from them that they will have their execution removed from title, within a specified time frame, after you have paid them the amount of money that is owed.

If the execution is not in favour of the Crown

If you purchased an OTS Title Search Summary for this property, send us an email a couple of weeks after your tax deed has been registered.  We will contact the land registry office and ask them to remove the execution from title.  We cannot guarantee that we will be successful, but we will try.

Tenders--Can I withdraw my tender?

In order to have your tender withdrawn you must make a written request to the treasurer of the municipality to withdraw your tender, and your written request must be received by the treasurer before the specified date and time for receiving tenders, as shown in the advertisement for tax sale.

Attention Members–see the following Tips on Tax Sales
Tenders—what if I submit a tender and then decide that I don’t want to buy the property?

Title Searches--How will I receive searches that I purchase from OTS?

Title Search Summary™, Title Search Update™, and all our other products, are sent by email. Title Search Summaries™ are usually conducted and sent to you within two business days.

Title Search Summaries™ and  Title Search Updates™ from OTS are only available to Members.

Updating Searches--Why is it advisable to update the title search and execution search on the day of the tax sale?

So that you will know if there have been any registrations or executions affecting your land between the time that the title search was done and the time that the tax sale is conducted.

For example, if Canada Revenue Agency registered a mortgage against the property, the property would be subject to that mortgage even after the tax sale. If you bought that property, and did not pay the mortgage, the mortgage holder could seize the property and sell it. Or, if an expropriation order were registered against the property, you could end up buying less land than you had originally expected.

Updating Searches--When will I receive the results of the updated searches?

Before noon on the day of the auction or tender opening we will email you an “Update Summary.” In most cases we will also email you an updated title search and execution search

Note: We can only guarantee that we’ll send you the results before noon if we receive your order no later than the day before the tax sale.

Updating Searches--What is included in the updated title search and execution search?

If you order a Title Search Update no later than the day before the tax sale, on the morning of the tender opening we will:

  • Conduct an execution search against the owners of the property
  • Find out if any mortgages, expropriations, etc. have been registered against the property since our previous title search.
  • Email you the results of the update before noon on the day of the tax sale

PLEASE NOTE:
A Title Search Update is only available if you have already ordered a Title Search Summary for this property. 

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To view Ontario Municipal Surplus Properties listed for sale visit SurplusProperty.ca