Home > Home, property, and development > Taxes > Property tax > Tax sale property auction
Blue house

Auction of "tax sale" property

We hold an auction each November called the “tax sale”. At the tax sale, properties with three years of unpaid property taxes are offered for sale by auction.

The current owners or registered charge holders of these properties have one year after the tax sale to redeem the property from the tax sale process. "Redeeming" is how the original owner makes a payment to rescue their property from the tax sale process.

Once a property is redeemed, we will refund all the money paid by the bidder, plus interest to the date of redemption, back to the bidder.

If the property is not redeemed, the process of transferring the property's ownership to the new owner starts.

Auction tips and requirements

Registration

There is no pre-registration to participate in the tax sale auction and seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Attendance

In-person attendance is required to participate in the auction. Bidders do not require registration cards to bid.

Bids 

  • Bids must be called out during the auction, and the auctioneer will acknowledge bids received.
  • Bidding begins with the upset price and is followed by surplus bids over the upset price (The total of the oldest years' taxes plus interest to the date of sale plus other additional charges.).

We publish a tax sale list online one week before the auction. This list identifies the properties that will be up for auction.

The list may be updated daily and changes may occur up to and during the tax sale auction. 

We are not responsible for the condition or quality of the properties being offered for sale. We recommend that you research each property.

It is important to determine whether there are other restrictions, charges or conditions that may affect a property’s value or sustainability.

 Please do not trespass onto the properties being offered for sale. It would be an infringment on the owner's right.  

Learn more about this in the City's Terms of Use guidelines

Successful bidders are required to:

  • Provide their driver’s licence or BCID Card with their full name and current address
  • State their occupation
  • Provide their social insurance number

Successful bidders must secure their bid by paying the upset price.

Payments will be accepted starting one hour after the completion of the auction to 12 noon of the following day and may be made by:

  • Cash
  • Debit card
  • Certified cheque
  • Money order (payable to the City of Vancouver)

If you intend to pay via debit card, you may wish to contact your financial institution in advance to determine your daily limit.

Upon payment, the successful bidder receives a Certificate of Purchase.

If the property is not redeemed by the end of the redemption period (one year after the auction) the successful bidder must pay the surplus bid amount within 30 days.