Annual Property Tax Sale
The following notes are intended to provide a general outline of the tax sale process. For complete information, prospective purchasers should consult the Local Government Act, in particular (but not limited to) Sections 403 to 428. The Local Government Act is available online.
The Local Government Act requires the District to sell at Tax Sale all properties whose taxes have not been paid for 3 years.
The Local Government Act gives the District Collector authority to sell a property for the Upset Price which equals all outstanding taxes + penalties + interest + 5% administration fee + Land Title Office fees.
All property sales are "as is" without warrant or guarantee by the District of Stewart.
The Local Government Act requires municipalities to advertise in a local paper not less than 3, or more than 10 days, prior to the Tax Sale.
The legal description and street address must be published.
To prevent having your property listed in this newspaper ad, your delinquent taxes must be paid approximately 2 weeks prior to the Tax Sale date.
Each year, a public auction will be held the last Monday in September at 10:00am in Council Chambers, Town 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 Collector (auctioneer), the District is declared the purchaser at the Upset Price.
Full payment (by cash or cheque) must be remitted immediately. If a purchaser leaves the premises without paying, they may lose the property.
If payment is not remitted, 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.
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
Section 421 of the Local Government Act provides that when real property is sold at Tax Sale, all rights held by the owner at the time of the sale, 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 (i.e. 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. The purchaser is advised to insure his interest in the property.
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 New Westminster 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.