Property Tax Sales
The Municipality 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 Tax 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 warranty or guarantee by the District of North Cowichan.
A public auction is held each year on the last Monday in September at 10:00 am (next tax sale September 25, 2017) in Council Chambers, Municipal Hall. 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 Tax Collector (auctioneer), the District is declared the purchaser at the upset price.
The Local Government Act requires municipalities to publish notice of its tax sales in a local paper. The notice includes legal description and street address of each property up for sale. For complete information, prospective purchasers should consult the Local Government Act, in particular (but not limited to) Sections 403 to 428. You can view the tax sale list here.
Purchasing Property at a Tax Sale
Full payment (by cash, interac, certified cheque or bank draft) must be remitted immediately. Purchasers will be given until 2:00 pm to provide payment.
If payment is not remitted, the Collector again offers the property for sale.
The Tax 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.
Redeeming Properties sold at a Tax Sale
The original owner has one year after the property is sold at tax sale to pay the taxes and buyback his 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
Section 665 of the Local Government Act provides that when real property is sold at tax sale, all rights held by the person who at the time of the sale was the owner, immediately cease to exist, except for the right of redemption, the right to bring an action to set aside the tax sale, and the right to possession.
The registered owner's right of possession is subject to the purchaser's right to bring action against the original property owner for waste (e.g. damage or destruction to the premises) and the right of the purchaser to enter onto the property to maintain it in the proper condition and to prevent waste.
Damage, destruction or loss of property during the redemption period are at the risk of the purchaser.
Property Not Redeemed
If the property is not redeemed during the 1-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 based on fair market value to the Provincial Sales Tax Administrator after application has been made to register in the Land Titles Office.