Ottawa’s vacant property by-law now in effect

vacant property

Ottawa Construction News staff writer

A new vacant property by-law in Ottawa means vacant lots and buildings that have been unoccupied for 120 consecutive days are required to have a vacant property permit, with limited exemptions. On Wednesday, June 8, council approved the new by-law and permit system , saying property owners would be more accountable for managing their vacant properties.

In addition to obtaining a permit, property owners must comply with regulations for identifying, managing and visiting their sites. According to city staff, a vacant property permit is needed to increase accountability for the owners of vacant buildings and lands, prevent neglect and harmful community impacts that vacancies can cause, and encourage the redevelopment or repurposing of existing vacant properties.

Annual $1,507 permits will cover the cost of two new full-time staff. Some vacant properties are exempt from a permit for a maximum of two years on certain compassionate grounds, such as an owner who was in care or a property vacant due to a catastrophic event.

For more information on vacant properties and units, visit the Vacant Properties page on For more information specific to the permit application, requirements and costs, visit the Vacant Property and/or Vacant Land Permit webpage.


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