Anyone who owns property in our city has a legal obligation to pay property taxes. If a property owner does not pay property taxes, we’ll try to work with them to develop a repayment schedule.

However, if an owner either refuses or is unable to pay the amount owed, either as a whole payment or through a repayment schedule, we can, as a last resort, pursue the sale of the property under the terms of Ontario’s Municipal Act, 2001.S.O, c.25.

What an owner can expect

We can register a tax arears certificate if an owner does not pay property taxes:

  • for two years before January 1 on vacant land, or
  • for three years before January 1 on developed land

These timelines apply to all classes of property.

A tax arrears certificate indicates the property will be sold if taxes, penalties, interest and reasonable costs we've incurred are not paid within one year of the certificate's registration.

Once a tax arrears certificate has been registered against a property, partial payments cannot be accepted. All taxes owing must be paid in full.

If the owner does not pay the owed amount by the one-year deadline, we can advertise the sale of the property for non-payment of taxes. We publish advertisements in the Waterloo Region Record for four consecutive weeks.

Review our full property tax collection policy.

For more information, please send us an email or call 519-741-2450.