Tax Sales

A tax sale is the sale of one or more properties by a municipality to recover unpaid property taxes on those properties. By the time a property is eligible for tax sale the property taxes are in at least their fourth year of arrears.

How are tax sales conducted?

Tax sales are conducted either by public auction or by public tender (a tender is a written document that advises the treasurer how much you will pay for the property). The vast majority of tax sales in Ontario are done by way of public tender.

Can the former owner redeem a property?

After a tax deed has been registered the former owner cannot redeem the property. However, before a tax deed is registered, the owner might be able to redeem the property by paying the full amount of taxes and other costs to the municipality, thereby stopping the tax sale.

Can I inspect a house that is being sold at a tax sale?

You do not have a right to enter onto a property that is being sold at tax sale. The person who owns the property is not obligated to allow people to inspect the house or the property. When you buy a property at a tax sale, you take it "as is". There are no warranties of any kind.

What happens if I buy a house and there are people living in it?

It will be up to you to decide what to do. Please note that the municipality is not obligated to evict people who may be living on the property. If you wish to evict people who are living there, you should consider hiring a bailiff or lawyer to handle the eviction process.