Tax Sale for Unpaid Taxes
Tax Sale Results – November 8, 2023
A tax sale is the sale of one or more properties by a municipality, to recover unpaid property taxes on those properties. Tax sales are conducted either by public auction or by public tender. After three years of unpaid property taxes, a property may be entered into the tax sale process (PDF).
Tax sale properties may sell for less than the market value of the property. This is because a municipality only needs to obtain the amount of taxes owing (including any accumulated interest and penalties), plus any costs involved in conducting the tax sale. The highest qualified tender is declared the successful purchaser.
After a tax deed has been registered, the former owner cannot redeem the property. However, before a tax deed is registered, the owner might be able to redeem the property by paying the cancellation price, thereby stopping the sale.
You may see additional information for the properties in the Tender Package. Also, please refer to the advertisements listed in the Norfolk and Tillsonburg News (four weeks) and online in the Ontario Gazette. If internet access is not available, information packages will be available for purchase at ServiceNorfolk for a fee of *$10.00.
Documents are available in alternate formats upon request. If you require an accessible format or communication support, contact [email protected] or 519-426-5870 ext. 8099 to discuss how we can meet your needs.
How many properties are listed for tax sale?
The number of properties is indicated in the advertisement. If properties become unavailable for sale, the ad will be updated on the county’s website.
What is the minimum bid?
This depends on the property. Refer to the advertisement or package for minimum tender amounts.
Why is the minimum bid so low/high and not listed at market value?
The Municipal Act does not permit the municipality to list properties at their appraised or market value. The minimum bid (cancellation price) is the amount the municipality requires to clear tax arrears.
If I am the successful purchaser, do I have to pay tax arrears on top of my bid?
No. The minimum bid includes all taxes owing up to the tax sale advertising. There will further be accumulated taxes, any relevant taxes (e.g. HST and Land Transfer tax) which will be paid in addition to the submitted tender and not taken from any surplus.
Does the municipality keep the “extra” funds if the successful bid is higher than the cancellation price?
In a successful tax sale where the purchase price exceeds the cancellation price, there will be surplus funds. The municipality must deposit the surplus funds with the Superior Court of Justice. (Note – taxes or fees accumulated since the tax sale advertisement, HST, and land transfer tax must be paid by the successful bidder in addition to the tendered amount and are not to be taken from any surplus funds.) Creditors with a registered interest at the time the tax arrears certification was initially registered and/or the former owners may apply to the Court for the surplus funds.
Is there a deposit that must be included?
Yes, each tender must be accompanied by a deposit of at least 20% of the submitted tender amount. The tender deposit must be paid by certified cheque, money order, or bank draft payable to Norfolk County.
What if there are people living at the property? Whose responsibility is it to evict?
The municipality has no obligation to provide vacant possession to the successful purchaser.
How can I check if there are mortgages or liens on the property?
This is not information that the County provides to potential bidders. Please contact a legal professional.
If there is a mortgage on the property will it remain with the property after tax sale?
When a property is sold at tax sale, any mortgages on it are eliminated, except for mortgages or liens in favour of the “Crown”. The “Crown” means the government of Ontario or the government of Canada, or one of their agencies or crown corporations.
Can I arrange to view or visit the property?
No, the properties are not owned by the municipality and are not available for viewing or tours. Entering the property without permission is considered trespassing.’
Where do I submit my bid?
As stated in the advertisement all bids must be submitted through ServiceNorfolk, 185 Robinson Street, Suite 100, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 5L6. The office is open to the public from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays.
When is the closing date for bidding and where will the tax sale be held?
The tax sale will be held virtually from the Robinson Administration Building, 185 Robinson St. Suite 100, Simcoe, Ontario on the date shown in the advertisement. Tenders will be opened as soon as possible after 3:00 p.m.
How will I know I am the successful bidder?
Results of the tax sale will be posted on the County’s website as soon as possible following the tender opening. All successful and non-successful bidders will be notified. The highest and second-highest bids will be retained until the transfer of property is finalized. Deposits will be returned to non-successful bidders by courier.
What happens if I am the successful bidder?
- You will be notified by mail and have 14 calendar days from notice of the successful bid to pay the balance of the tender
- Your deposit will be cashed immediately
- You will be responsible for paying HST, land transfer tax, accumulated taxes, and/or fees since the tax sale advertisement
- If the balance of tender is not paid within 14 calendar days, your deposit will be forfeited to the municipality and the property will be offered to the second highest bidder.
If my bid is not successful may I pick up my deposit?
Pickup of deposits is not permitted. All deposits will be returned by courier to the address indicated on the bid.
What if I want to withdraw my bid before the sale?
If the bidder wishes to withdraw their bid, they may do so by providing a written request to the Treasurer. The request must be received prior to 3:00 p.m. on the day the tenders are to be opened.
What is the form I use to submit a bid?
All tenders must be submitted on a Form 7 which will be available on the county website. Tender Requirements:
- All tenders must be submitted using Form 7 which is available on the county website.
- The tender must be submitted in a sealed envelope addressed to the “Treasurer” (does not need to include the Treasurer by name).
- Tenders will be received until 3:00 p.m. on the date of the tax sale at ServiceNorfolk, 185 Robinson Street, Suite 100, Simcoe, Ontario, N3Y 5L6. The office is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
- The sealed envelope must indicate that it is for a “Tax Sale” and have a short description or municipal address of the land with enough information that the Treasurer can distinguish one property from another.
- The tender must be submitted typewritten or legibly handwritten in ink
- Tenders must contain a deposit equal to at least 20% of your submitted bid price.
- Tender deposits must be certified cheque, bank draft, or money order payable to Norfolk County.
- Tenders containing errors will be rejected.
Are photos of the properties available?
Information packages including photos will be available for purchase at the Robinson Administration Building, Suite 100 for a fee of $10.00
What happens if two or more bids are equal?
In the event of a tie, the bid submitted first that meets all of the other criteria will be considered the highest bid.