Free Ontario Tax Sale Property Listings

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

To Bid or Not to Bid, That is the Question... Part 2

Are you as excited as we are to dig into Part 2 of our 'To Bid or Not to Bid, That is the Questions' article?

We trust you must have a few questions by now and we know it can be very difficult fumbling around in the dark. Hopefully we can shed some light on these problem areas for you.

In our previous article we mentioned that in part 2 we would be covering topics such as title searches, execution and writ searches, statutory declarations and drive by viewing of properties (when possible).

Without further ado, lets start with title searches. If you're not already familiar with the huge importance of searching a properties title prior to submitting a tender, we're going to explain exactly why this is one of the most important steps in researching a tax sale property.

Let us paint a quick picture for you; You've found a beautiful home sitting on some prime acreage, just outside of the City. Now, imagine you have just submitted a tender on this property without searching title or performing an execution search first. You've gone ahead without doing your due-diligence, assuming you're in the clear and submitted your tender without giving it a second thought. The tax sale has just completed and you have been deemed the highest tenderer. As a matter of fact, you were the ONLY person to submit a bid at all. Weird... For such a beautiful property in such a sought after location, you'd think there would have been more interest. If alarm bells aren't sounding now, they should be. The sound should be deafening. Next thing you know you're hearing murmurs 
down the grape vine of another investor making a classic rookie mistake. It might sound something like this... "Did you hear about the property in so and so? Someone actually bought it!!! I feel bad for them. I wonder if they knew about those crown interests..." and all the sudden it clicks... You're the rookie, you're that someone.

Keep in mind, crown interests are not going to be eliminated by way of a tax sale in the same way that an interest in favour of the Toronto Dominion Bank would be. These are here to stay until the crown gets what they're after. Now, it is important to note that you are not actually responsible for paying a judgement in favour of the crown if you are deemed the highest tenderer and the property is transferred to you. However, what they CAN do is seize and sell the land to recover these amounts, right from under your feet, leaving you absolutely zero recourse.

This can go a few different ways now that you've been deemed the highest tenderer.

Firstly, you could contact the crown agency listed on the related instrument and inquire as to what the current amounts are outstanding on these interests, should you decide to attempt to pay these amounts. In some cases these can be relatively small costs and in other cases these interests can push into the millions. So, really it depends on what you are financially able to invest into a property and more importantly, whether it would be in your best interests.

Secondly, and assuming you have not completed payment of your submitted tender and the tax deed has not yet been registered, you could walk away from your 20% deposit. A difficult choice, however, in some cases this may be your best bet to mitigate any damages.

If payment has been completed, the property has been transferred and title is officially in your name, it will not be as simple as forfeiting your deposit and admitting defeat. At this stage, you're in it... at least knee deep and sinking fast. Moving forward it would be a case by case scenario as there are several variables that come into play.

If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a situation resembling this one, your very first move should be to contact the crown agency to determine what your options are, if any. In some cases these amounts might have been paid down substantially since the initial registration and in others, quite the opposite. Explain your situation and attempt to discuss with crown agency, either having the amount lowered, eliminated or the possibility of coming up with a payment arrangement if this a cost you are able to cover and are comfortable moving forward with. They are not obligated to provide any leniency in these situations, so the phrase, "You get more bees with honey" will stand true to its roots. If you ignore these amounts and do not contact the crown agency, the property could be seized, as mentioned above.

Now, this is only an example of the risks of purchasing a tax sale property without thoroughly researching your investment in advance. The financial burdens could be massive. When it comes to obtaining a title search, it is a small price to pay in an effort to safe guard yourself from problems of a much larger magnitude.

Next on our list of discussion topics are execution searches. Some folks will go to great lengths to obtain a title search and completely skip the execution search. We do not recommend that. When preparing title search reports, our team will perform an execution search in addition to pulling the parcel register. The difference between a parcel register and an execution search is simple. The parcel register is related to the property, while the execution search is related to the registered owners of the property. If there have been judgements on the registered owner in favour of a lender, crown agency, etc., these will show up when performing an execution search and are referred to as 'writs'. If there happen to be any writs filed against a registered owner of a property that are in favour of the crown it is important that potential purchasers are aware of these for the same reason as crown interests that are registered on title.

For those of you who are not familiar with our products, specifically our title search reports, they include information such as:

1. The Parcel Register(s)
2. An Execution Search on the registered owner(s)
3. Copies of active instruments registered on title.

Such as:

  • The most recent transfer registered on title
  • Easements and rights-of-way (if any)
  • Restrictive covenants (if any)
  • Mortgages, Liens, etc. (if any)
  • Crown Interests (if any)
  • Reference Plans (if available & upon request)

All of this information will be included in an easy to understand report, outlining any interests that will continue to affect the land after a tax sale.

We even include a copy of our Tender Submission Requirements Checklist to assist you with submitting a valid tender.

If you have any questions regarding our title search reports or updated title search reports, email our office at, we would love to hear from you.

Now, while a title search doesn't cover every single aspect of property research you should be doing before submitting a tender, it's a very affordable and extremely important step in performing a thorough investigation of a tax sale property.

Our next discussion topic today is, Statutory Declarations. These are documents that are required under the Municipal Act, 2001, for those properties that are making their way through the tax sale process for non payment of property tax arrears. The purpose of a statutory declaration is to declare that correct notice was sent to the parties noted on the document, in accordance with the laws set forth by the Municipal Act, 2001.  Generally these will only include interests that were registered on title or had been present in the database of writs at the time the tax arrears certificate was registered. Statutory Declarations can be somewhat handy in the sense that if you are curious about what interests were registered on title at the time the tax arrears certificate was registered all you need to do is to request the municipality allow you to view this document. Under Section 379 Subsection 12 of the Municipal Act, 2001, "The treasurer, on the request of any person, shall permit the person to inspect a copy of the statutory declaration made under clause (2) (a) and shall provide copies of it at the same rate as is charged under section 253.  2001, c. 25, s. 379 (12)."

If you are hoping to have a copy provided, you will need to contact the municipality directly to inquire. Municipalities will oftentimes have a scale of costs for document requests like these and they generally range from $10.00 to $50.00 or more.

It is important that we mention, obtaining a statutory declaration is in NO WAY a substitute for a title search. However, they are invaluable in their own way. While some new interests may have been registered on title since the tax arrears certificate was registered and the interested parties had been determined, you can still get a general feel for what's going on with a property by seeing what parties were sent notice when the tax registration process was started.

Lastly, we want to touch on the topic of viewing a property. This is not a traditional real estate transaction and for that reason there may be certain processes you are accustomed to that are not permitted when purchasing tax sale property.

One question we get a lot is, "How can I book a viewing?". The answer to this is simple, you cannot. These properties are still owned by the registered owner(s) of the properties and are not property of the municipality. Ownership is only transferred upon successful registration of a new tax deed. For this reason, it is important to be aware that these properties are being sold as is, where is, with absolutely no warranties of any kind. This begs the question, how do you get a feel for a property before bidding? There are several ways to research the historical use of a property, although in this case, we will stick to the classic 'drive-by viewing'. Of course, these are only possible in cases when a property is viewable from a legal stand point. Remember, accessing any private property without permission is trespassing.

Now, let's say you are interested in a property, it is always wise (when possible) to drive by and take a good look at the property from the roadside. Ask yourself questions like, are there any structures, what shape are they in, are there any surrounding properties and potential hazards that might be present on or around the tax sale property, etc.. You can save yourself a great deal of trouble by taking these simple steps in advance. Should you find yourself looking at a dilapidated and potentially animal infested, unmaintained home with missing windows and no signs of human life, you would be wise to expect that there would be substantial damage to the interior of the structure. On the other hand, maybe the property is neighbouring a laundromat, mechanics shop or maybe a former service station. While this might not seem like a potential issue at glance, contamination knows no bounds. Just because the property line lay in its path, that doesn't mean its going to stop before it reaches your property. It's important for us to mention, in some cases there may be no issue with a neighbouring property, however, in others, there could be massive implications if the adjacent lot is contaminated. It is important that you use careful judgement in purchasing any property as is.

In our next part, we will be discussing some of the consequences of not performing your due diligence prior to submitting a bid. The last thing you want to do is make a vital mistake when it could have been avoided; and trust us when we say, it happens more than you would expect. We will also be speaking a little bit about some of the things you should not be doing when researching a property or engaging in the tax sale process. If you have any questions about part 2 of this article, please email our office at info@tri-target or post a comment and we will respond to you directly.

We appreciate you reading our blog and look forward to providing you with relevant information you can utilize when purchasing tax sale property.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of "To Bid or Not to Bid, That is the Question..."

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

To Bid or Not to Bid, That is the Question... Part 1

You have been searching for a tax sale property for what seems like a lifetime and suddenly, there it is, the holy grail, the one, the property you've been holding out for. Now what?

Depending on how familiar you are with the risks of purchasing tax sale property in Ontario, Canada, the next step you take is going to be crucial.

So, first and foremost, if you are new to tax sales, make sure to thoroughly educate yourself. It is absolutely imperative that you understand the tax sale rules and legislation that govern these sales. O
nce you have familiarized yourself with the legislation, consider reading up on some of our tax sale tips and FAQ's, all available on our website. Just click here!

Now that you have a basic understanding of tax sales in Ontario, let's address the elephant in the room. Remember? You've just found that perfect tax sale property and you want it, you want it now! Woah, easy now... Let's not make any uninformed decisions, that could be disastrous. As we're sure you've heard, knowledge is power. Which brings us to step 1, gather all available free information on this property before bringing out that cold hard cash. Sometimes in this first step we can find reason not to purchase a property and it's always best to avoid throwing our hard earned money away for no good reason.

Depending on what you're hoping to purchase, sometimes, your proposed usage just doesn't line up. Maybe the lot size doesn't meet building code requirements, maybe it isn't possible to re-zone or maybe the property has a high potential for contamination or is prone to flooding and the list goes on. These red flags can be a very good indicator on what might lay ahead and are incredibly helpful in determining if the property is going to be too risky an investment for your level of comfortability. Because there are so many variables when it comes to what type of property a person may want and why, we are going to assume moving forward in this multipart article, that this is a vacant lot that you would like to build on.

Now, as we were saying, step 1... Gather all free information that you can find for this property. The first place to start is exactly where the tax sale advertisement directs you to go for further information. This may be the municipality directly or another company working on behalf of the municipality. This information can be found in the footer of the tax sale advertisement.

Once you have determined where you'll be going to access the information the municipality has made available, it's time to get to work.

Let's assume the municipality has utilized the service of a company like ours,, to showcase their municipal tax sale properties. On our website you will find detailed tax sale property information available at your fingertips. All provided by the municipality, for us to share with you, free of charge!

This information will be available in the form of a tender package, however some municipalities that are handling their own tax sales may list this information individually, or they may not list it at all.

The very first thing you will want to download is a tender package. A tender package on our website will consist of a copy of the tax sale advertisement, a 'Form 7 - Tender to Purchase' (you're going to need that document if you decide to submit a tender.) and a tax sale envelope. But, that's not all, you will also find basic and advanced property details, building and planning information, zoning information, imagery, a very helpful checklist and any other information that the municipality felt would be beneficial to include in the tax sale tender package.

This is where you can really start to get a feel for the property and whether you will be moving on to the next stage of your property investigation.

One of the first things you should check into is whether or not this property is accessible. Sometimes a property might be landlocked or inaccessible for another reason. If you can't legally access a property, you're likely trespassing to gain entry to your land and we absolutely advise against that.

Next you're going to want to determine if the property will allow for you to use it in the way you're hoping to. Remember, it's a vacant lot. The question is, are you hoping to build on this property or just want to use it as it is? If you're hoping to build a home, cabin or other structure, firstly, you should check if this is permitted. Some vacant properties are too small to build on while others might be on protected land, in a flood zone, completely underwater or there might be another reason this property is not able to be developed.

Initially, before looking into the possibility of this property being on protected land or subject to any conditions set forth by the area conservation authority, you've got to find out if your proposed usage is permissible by the municipality this property is situated in and if so, what would be involved in obtaining a building permit, etc. This step alone can save you massive amounts of wasted time. For the sake of explaining this in greater detail, let's assume that you have now contacted the municipal building and planning department and everything checks out; your intended use is acceptable and you are satisfied that you have all the information you require from the municipality in this respect.

But wait, don't get too far ahead of yourself... Sometimes a property will be on protected lands. If a property is on protected lands, generally, the area conservation authority will have a say in land use also. You will need additional approvals and there are likely to be conditions, etc. That's of course if you can even gain approval.  This is a whole different world than that of vacant land that has been zoned residential. Furthermore, for the same reason we need to check the zoning for protected lands, we also need to check for hazard lands (is this lot in a marsh, under water or on a flood plain?), etc.

The municipal zoning code reveals a lot about a property and the individual zoning information you can access through the municipality provides specific details on land use and much more for properties zoned under the corresponding codes. We will dig deeper on the topic of 'zoning' in a separate article. For this exercise, we will assume the property is zoned residential, all your plans are permissible and that you have confirmed this with the municipality.

Make sure you have written documentation of all of your discussions and ask as many questions as you need, making assumptions has gotten even the most savvy investors into hot water.

Moving on to another important question you should ask yourself if you're purchasing this vacant lot to build on is 'are there municipal services available?' and if not, what is the cost going to be in order to bring these in? Depending where the vacant lot is situated, sometimes you are required to be on the town infrastructure. For example, in the Town where our office is located, septic tanks are not permitted where sewer is available and you must tie directly in to available systems. This small piece of information changes the cost of setting up that service drastically. This is information that will oftentimes be referred to in the zoning documents relating to the code(s) the property is zoned under and should be reviewed thoroughly by any prospective purchasers.

You should proceed with the same caution when it comes to municipal services such as hydro (is this property on the grid?), water (is this property using a well or municipal water?) and any others you are hoping to have available or will need a system in place for. 
Without getting into too much detail, the municipal building department should be able to assist you in determining the options that are available to you for these purposes with respect to your proposed development. You need to understand exactly what your options are and what is required to bring these services in, when available.

Assuming you are able to afford this extra cost and are comfortable with the requirements you will be faced with when bringing these services in, let's say you decide to proceed with your property investigation...

Before we break out our wallets, there are a few other things you are going to want to check. Unfortunately, you won't always find information available on these topics, however if you do, you'll be glad you did.

Checking out the property online, determining previous use or checking for things such as the potential for contamination or other hazards. These are steps you will revisit more than once, but for this first once-over, we are performing all research we are able to, without spending any money.

So, next up, if you haven't already, lets check this property out on any available aerial imagery platforms. Be it Google Maps, provided photos or another imagery provider (we suggest you check all available avenues). Check as much as you're able to in an effort to determine things like accessibility, potential hazards and issues, condition and state of the lot, potential contamination, etc.

Sometimes a property might be completely vacant, sometimes a property may be packed with trees and natural growth. Both of these scenarios require different approaches. If a property is completely vacant and you're hoping to build, that's one thing. If a property is lush with trees and natural growth, that's another thing entirely. You'll have to ensure you are able to remove the trees and you'll need to have the means and extra budget to do so, if permissible.

The reason we say "permissible" is, some properties may have forfeited timbre rights, they might be on protected lands or they might have another condition registered on title that prevents you from logging the land or clearing the space of all or a specific species of trees. We are not going to get into too much detail regarding these situations right now, however, be aware that they do exist.

As for previous use of the land, this can be a little tricky to determine in some cases (especially with vacant land) however, if by some stroke of luck you have a property address for this vacant lot, start there. Search the property address and skim through the search results. You might notice that this property had sold in the past and that there is additional historic property information available or maybe that there was a fire and the structure is no longer intact on the property, the possibilities are endless.

Another great resource with aerial imagery is the ability to see neighbouring properties. Contamination doesn't just stop at the boundary lines and even worse, sometimes contamination is at no fault of that actual property owner. Now, while it's impossible to determine if a property is contaminated by just looking at it there are some red flags you should definitely be wary of. Some of the larger more common ones would be land that was once used as or was/is neighbouring a gas station, service centre, mechanics shop, laundromat, industrial properties, etc. Anywhere you find chemicals or hazardous materials is going to have a higher probability of being contaminated. We have always been of the opinion that these properties be avoided like the plague as they are simply too high risk, however if you must bid on potentially contaminated property, please be aware that some cleanups can cost property owners well into the millions. What started out as a vacant building lot and dream come true has just turned into a nightmare of massive proportions.

Now that you've determined some core specifics regarding land use, the requirements of building on this lot (if possible), basic zoning information and you've even gone so far as to do a little online research into the property and its surroundings/neighbouring properties, it's time to spend some money.

This is generally the first thing you are going to do that should cost you any money at all. It's time to check title of the property and the database of writs.
In other words, it's time to complete a title search. If you're not familiar with how to perform a title search, worry not, we offer title search reports for most properties listed on our website.

Check out Part 2 of our this multipart article to learn about the next steps involved with bidding on tax sale property in Ontario. In the next part we will be discussing topics such as the importance of title searches, execution searches, statutory declarations, drive by viewing and much more.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of "To Bid or Not to Bid, That is the Question..."

Thursday, December 31, 2020

How has Covid-19 impacted the tax sale tender opening process?

It has been 290 Days since Ontario first declared an emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The province-wide lock down had a massive impact on the tax sale process and ability for municipalities to proceed with recovering arrears by way of a tax sale from the earliest stages, right up to the actual tax sale.

In effect, municipalities were basically at a stand still until the emergency order was revoked. After a long and grueling lock down, this was done on September 14, 2020. This meant it was time to get back to business, however, it wasn't as simple as just resuming business as usual; Now, there were matters of a large influx of newly delinquent properties, rate payers facing brutal financial hardships, municipalities forced to limit the number of staff in the office at one time and a whole slew of new protocols that would need to be implemented to accommodate for the ever-changing world that has been impacted by this pandemic.

So, in short, the way these processes were being conducted prior to this pandemic has indefinitely evolved out of necessity. The ripple effect has been felt from everyone from the rate payers and municipalities to the people and corporations who rely on these tax sale properties as a source of income. 

Nonetheless, once municipalities had the ability to proceed again they were faced with somewhat of a moral dilemma. It is clear that Covid-19 has left many folks in an unpredictable place with respect to finances, their livelihood and ensuring they won't lose their properties for non-payment of property tax arrears in this unprecedented time. It was at that point many Ontario municipalities had to make a choice; Either they proceed with properties that are legally eligible for tax sale immediately or they delay the process until the new year in an effort to share the burden of this pandemic with its residents and property owners. From what we have seen, several municipalities have decided to wait until 2021, while others have resumed business as usual and are currently conducting tax sales in an effort to recover outstanding tax arrears.

With the above in mind, this really comes down to the type of properties that are in arrears. Is this a family household? Is this a vacant sliver of land? Is this a
dilapidated structure?  The who, why and what really start to become more meaningful amidst everyone's shared experience of this pandemic.

The tax sale listings that have been advertised since the emergency order had been revoked have been residential, vacant, commercial and simple problem properties. However, any seasoned tax sale property investor would agree, that the tax sale listings have been slim to none and nowhere near as booming an industry as previous years, which brings us to our next question... Why?

Is it because municipalities are being more compassionate with rate payers and offering as much time as they can for folks to bring their tax accounts into good standing and avoid losing their property due to the pandemic? Does it have something to do with being able to meet all requirements set forth by the province with respect to social distancing?

A municipalities ability to conduct a public sale has been greatly hindered. Space is scarce without breaching the social distancing requirements enacted by the province and having a public sale with tenderers on site as was done before has been one of the largest hurdles to overcome, although, there is a silver lining.

Of those municipalities that are still conducting their municipal tax sales, many are offering a small number of tenderers to be on site, much of the time by scheduling your place at the tax sale in advance. Of course, this is in addition to providing an online live stream of the tax sale tender opening. In our professional opinion, this is a wonderful option to aid in keeping prospective purchasers and the municipal staff safe and without taking any unnecessary risk, all while still providing tenderers an ability to attend the public sale. The future is now and this will likely become the new norm for sometime, possibly even after the pandemic has run it's course.

Much of the reason for this new change is due to an urgent need for municipalities to ensure these processes are able to continue flowing naturally. Before the pandemic, municipalities were accustomed to having a public sale without the need to limit the number of attendees, however with the social distancing restrictions (which vary form region to region) this has become an almost impossible task. Not all municipalities have adopted this new method of information delivery, however we believe its only a matter of time until they do; It just makes sense.

It is not clear how long these restrictions will be in place and when the properties will really start to flow again. However, on the bright side, 'where there is a will, there is a way' and we are seeing that firsthand now as more municipalities step up in an attempt to satisfy the needs of tenderers and municipal staff by offering secondary methods of attendance. This is a definitive learning experience for those on both ends of that spectrum and we are excited to see how everything will unfold.

For now, our team is remaining fully attentive to these new changes and is working closely with our municipal contacts to develop a sustainable approach to conducting tax sales during a pandemic and beyond.

Now, we want to hear from you!

What do you foresee in the future world of municipal tax sales?

Have you got suggestions, complaints or even worries when moving forward with purchasing tax sale property in Ontario?

Have you still been actively and successfully purchasing tax sale property during the pandemic? What was the experience like in comparison to previous years?

Let us know in the comments, email our office or consider sending messenger pigeons!

From all of us at, here's to wishing you all a very Happy & Prosperous New Year in 2021!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Public Tender Vs. Public Auction - What's the Difference?

In this edition of our Company Blog we would like to discuss another very common question we receive from our members regarding tax sales.

Public Tender VS. Public Auction -  What's the Difference? 

Tendering or Bidding on a Tax Sale property can be done 1 of 2 ways depending on how the tax sale is being conducted.  Is this a Sale of Land by Public Tender or is it a Sale of Land by Public Auction?

Though, it is very seldom to see a Tax Sale by Public Auction; they do still occur.
These are both procedures for generating competing offers from different tenderers or bidders.
The two main factors that set these methods apart is how you submit your tender or bid and when the offered tender or bid is due.

Sale of Land by Public Tender

For instance, when making an offer on a property that is being sold by Public Tender, you must submit your offer/tender in a sealed envelope (containing at least 20% of the amount tendered), you have only one chance to be selected as the highest tenderer and cannot re-submit your tender after the tax sale has been conducted. Tenders will be opened on the tax sale date at or as soon as possible after 3:00pm.
According to the Municipal Tax Sale Rules, once the highest tender has been determined, that tenderer will be declared to be the successful purchaser if, within 14 days of the mailing of the notice, the balance of the amount tendered, the applicable land transfer tax and the accumulated taxes are paid, in cash, to the treasurer.

NOTE: This method for tax sale is very similar to a silent auction.

Sale of Land by Public Auction
When making an offer on a property that is being sold by Public Auction, you must be present at the designated location at the time that the tax sale is being conducted.  If you bid on a tax sale property and somebody else out bids you - you have the opportunity to bid again and again until a highest tender has been determined.

According to the Municipal Tax Sale Rules,  the highest bidder shall be declared to be the successful purchaser if the bidder immediately pays the amount bid, the applicable land transfer tax and the accumulated taxes, in cash, to the auctioneer.

NOTE: This method for tax sale is exactly as stated above - 'A Public Auction' - Conducted Aloud  

For more information on the Sale of Land by Public Tender VS. Sale of Land by Public Auction and other helpful information, please visit the link below to view the Ontario Municipal Tax Sale Rules. - Ontario Municipal Tax Sale Rules - Ontario Municipal Tax Sale Legislation

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Minimum Tender Amount - What is it & Where does it come from?

In this edition of our Company Blog we would like to address another common question we receive from our members regarding tax sale properties.

The Minimum Tender Amount - What is it & Where does it come from?

The Minimum Tender Amount (or otherwise known as, the Cancellation Price) is the amount of all tax arrears owing right up to the first day of advertising, this amount includes penalties, interest, and all reasonable costs incurred from the time the municipality becomes entitled to register a Tax Arrears Certificate under Section 371(1) of the Municipal Act, 2001.

The Minimum Tender Amount is the lowest you may tender or bid on a tax sale property.
Any tenders or bids that do not meet or exceed this amount will be rejected and returned to the tenderer or bidder.

Because there are so many types of tax sale properties the total of the Minimum Tender Amount can fluctuate depending on several different variables.
Some of the charges that can be added in addition to the amounts under Section 371(1) are costs associated with,  
  • The Supply of Water  
  • The Supply of Artificial or Natural Gas 
  • The Supply of Steam or Hot Water
  • The Use of a Sewage System
  • The Use of a Waste Management System   
Including certain fees and charges for business improvement 
(1)  Fees and charges that are imposed by a municipality or local board under the Act and meet the requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2 of subsection 361 (13) of the Act have priority lien status as described in section 1 of the Act. O. Reg. 581/06, s. 2 (1).

(2) Fees and charges described in subsection (1) and imposed before the day this Regulation comes into force have priority lien status effective the day this Regulation comes into force.

For more information regarding this regulation please visit the following link.

Fees and Charges - Priority Lien Status

To view a copy of the Tax Sale Rules and Tax Sale Legislation please click below. 

Tax Sale Rules and Legislation

If you have any further questions please feel free to email us at  
What are Targeted Tax Sale Tips?

Targeted Tax Sale Tips are sent weekly with our ' - Upcoming Tax Sales' newsletter and posted frequently in our Company Blog.

Each week the topic will vary from simple tax sale do's and don'ts, to in depth detailed information regarding legislation and much more!

Property Doesn't Sell at a Tax Sale.... What Happens Next?

In this edition of our Company Blog we would like to address another common question we regularly receive from our members regarding tax sale properties.

What happens when a property doesn't sell at a Tax Sale?

After a failed tax sale the municipality has to make 1 of 3 major choices.

1. Re-Advertise the Tax Sale Property within 2 years

2. Vest the Tax Sale Property into the municipality
3. To do nothing within the 2 year time period which would result in the tax arrears certificate being deemed to be cancelled, at which point the tax registration and tax sale proceedings must be started from again from the beginning.

What are some reasons a tax sale may fail?

When no tenders or bids are received it results in a failed tax sale.  The main reason for this is Property Condition vs. Property Value.
For instance there have been numerous old gas stations, workshops, industrial complexes and many other properties for sale in the past that for most individuals will sound the warning bells for an extremely risky investment.

The first question that comes to mind in regard to the above property is... are they contaminated?
The second question is if these properties are contaminated, how much is it going to cost to perform a cleanup of this property?

The other most common reason for a failed tax sale is that the minimum tender amount is more than the assessed value of the property, at this point the successful sale may seem bleak, though it is still possible for the property to sell; As a matter of fact in the past there have been a handful of properties purchased for more than the assessed value.

There are several great deals in respect to tax sale properties, but like anything else there is a darker side to things as well, some other reasons for a failed tax sale may include, 
  • The property is landlocked or inaccessible
  • There are interests that will affect the property after a tax sale
  • The land is vacant and building permits are not available
There are many reasons in addition to those just mentioned that will defer interest from investors.

Always consider the pro's vs. the cons, many times a property will appear to be an investment opportunity of a life time, but after a little bit of research you may come to realize the property may not be as great as it seemed to be at the previous glance.  The property could be crawling with crown liens, landlocked, contaminated and much more, it is strongly recommended that potential purchasers research these properties as thoroughly as possible before submitting a tender or bid.


What are Targeted Tax Sale Tips?

Targeted Tax Sale Tips are sent weekly with our ' - Upcoming Tax Sales' newsletter and posted frequently in our Company Blog.

Each week the topic will vary from simple tax sale do's and don'ts, to in depth detailed information regarding legislation and much more!

The Downside to Using Google Maps and Others when searching for Accurate Imagery

In this edition of our Company Blog I would like to discuss a couple of the downsides associated with using Google maps and similar websites to attain imagery of municipal tax sale and surplus properties.

One of the largest problems encountered when using this imagery is that many of the photos are outdated, sometimes more than 5 years. This could mean the difference between what appears to be a large clean lot with a house on it, compared to the unfortunate reality of a property or house that has been abandoned or torn down at some time after the most recent image was made available in their imagery database.

Another common issue you will find when you are using these types of websites is that the accuracy of the address can sometime be off by 20 numbers or more depending on the length and size of the road, property and even the number of properties.  The reason this happens is because these websites average the property locations based on the length of the road vs. the number of homes/properties on the road etc. 

Neither the accuracy of the property location nor the accuracy of the actual photograph proves this to be a viable option when attaining accurate information about tax sale properties.  At most it may be of use to provide an average location or maybe to see the general area where the property is located.  Be careful when researching your properties and always make sure you are aware of what you are investing in.

What are Targeted Tax Sale Tips?

Targeted Tax Sale Tips are sent weekly with our ' - Upcoming Tax Sales' newsletter and posted frequently in our Company Blog.

Each week the topic will vary from simple tax sale do's and don'ts, to in depth detailed information regarding legislation and much more! 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Helping to avoid unnecessary financial loss

In this edition of our Company Blog we would like to address a common issue in regard to property redemption and unnecessary financial loss.

Please take a moment to read the helpful information below.


Helping to avoid unnecessary financial loss

Generally when you hear the saying "It sounds too good to be true", it's because in many cases it is.

A common issue I have heard a great deal about in the past has been the high volume of individuals who 'jump the gun' when purchasing tax sale properties.  I'm talking about when tax sale investors find the perfect property and immediately start pouring their money into researching it when it may very well become futile in the event the property is redeemed prior to the tax sale date.

In many cases these 'perfect properties' will be redeemed prior to the tax sale date, usually because the owner(s) have decided it may be against their best interests to allow the sale of their home or property.  A good practice in helping to avoid this situation is when you have found your 'perfect property', to wait as long as you are comfortable with to see first whether the property is redeemed or not before you begin spending excessive costs on title searches, execution searches, tender packages, etc.
, leaving enough time to allow you to effectively research your investment.   

By following this simple guideline you will likely some time or another, avoid losing your invested time and money due to the redemption of a tax sale property.

Always make sure you have enough time to research your property and be sure not to wait to the last second or you may find you are rushing into something blind and without direction.  Take your time and always remember the moral of the old story The Tortoise and the Hare - "Slow and Steady Wins the Race".

What are Targeted Tax Sale Tips?

Targeted Tax Sale Tips are sent weekly with our ' - Upcoming Tax Sales' newsletter and posted frequently in our Company Blog.

Each week the topic will vary from simple tax sale do's and don'ts, to in depth detailed information regarding legislation and much more! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Municipal Surplus Property - A Couple Questions - Answered

In this edition of our Company Blog we would like to answer a couple of the commonly asked surplus property questions we receive from our members.

Please take a moment to read the helpful information below.


Thinking About Purchasing Municipal Surplus Property in Ontario?

Have you ever thought about the actual steps involved with purchasing Municipal Surplus Property?  Below is information regarding the commonly asked questions regarding the purchase and sale that you may want to consider if you are serious about investing in these properties.

A very common question dealing with the legalities involved when purchasing Ontario's Municipal Surplus Properties is, "Do I need a lawyer?" 
In our opinion it
is advisable to utilize the services of a lawyer for all aspects of your purchase and very importantly when signing contractual agreements regarding the purchase or sale of any property.

Another common question we receive from our members is, "What are Municipal Surplus Properties"?  
These may be properties that have been vested into the municipality because of a failed tax sale or properties the municipality owns, no longer has a use for and simply wants sold.
Many of these properties open the door to very lucrative investment opportunities.

What are Targeted Tax Sale Tips?

Targeted Tax Sale Tips are sent weekly with our ' - Upcoming Tax Sales' newsletter ans posted frequently in our Company Blog.

Each week the topic will vary from simple tax sale do's and don'ts, to in depth detailed information regarding legislation and much more!

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Couple Commonly Asked Questions - Answered

In this edition of our Company Blog we would like to answer a couple of the commonly asked tax sale questions we receive from our members.

Please take a moment to read the helpful information below.


What happens if no tenders or bids received at a tax sale?

When there are no tenders or bids received the municipality has up to 2 years from the date of the tax sale to register a notice of vesting or to re-advertise the property.

If the municipality fails to either vest the property or re-advertise for tax sale within the 2 year time period, the tax arrears certificate will be deemed to be cancelled.  Once the tax arrears certificate is deemed to be cancelled, in order to advertise the property again for tax sale the municipality will have to conduct the tax registration and tax sale again from the beginning stages.

Do tax sales have busier and slower times throughout the year?

For the most part tax sale properties are advertised consistently throughout the year, though it is very common for tax sale advertisements to slow down and sometimes stop all together during the months of November and especially December prior to the holidays.  Municipal tax sales tend to pick up again starting in the new year and usually peak in regard to volume in the warmer months of the year leading into the fall season. There are approximately 200 tax sales each year and many of which sell for under $15,000.00.

Tri-Target is currently indexing every tax sale since 2007 and will provide the statistical information to our members free of charge in the near future.

What are Targeted Tax Sale Tips?

Targeted Tax Sale Tips are sent weekly with our ' - Upcoming Tax Sales' newsletter and posted on our Company Blog.

Each week the topic will vary from simple tax sale do's and don'ts, to in depth detailed information regarding legislation and much more!