As a result of several Municipal decisions regarding vacancy applications, most notably in the Town of Innisfil and in the City of Guelph, self storage properties were deemed to be “eligible property” and were approved for vacancy rebates.

These were landmark cases and showed precedence for self storage owners dealing with Municipalities regarding claims.

While the Municipalities argued that self storage properties, “By the nature of the operation and transient make up of occupancy, were effectively ‘occupied’ by the operator/owner and not that of the customer”, the Assessment Review Board (ARB) decided that this position was not a violation of the eligibility requirement and as such, the Board ruled that self storage properties were eligible for the vacancy credit.

Some Municipalities have accepted the decision and are processing applications while others are in a sense of denial and continue to deny applications and force the issue back to the ARB. These Municipalities believe that self storage properties only comply with the letter of the Vacancy regulations and that the spirit of the vacancy act is not intended to include our businesses.

It is the advice of the CSSA that the ARB has made their decision and self storage businesses are eligible to apply for the annual vacancy credit.

It should be noted that in order to remain in this positive position with the ARB, it is vital for self storage owners to comply with all paperwork and documentation requests by the Municipality. The request for this information should not be interpreted as a deterrent but rather as complying with a layer of bureaucratic administration that is in place to maintain credibility and eliminate the risk of fraudulent applications.

If you have any questions or if you require more information please contact us at 888-898-8538 or at info@cssa.ca

An important date to remember: Vacancy Rebate filing deadline is February 28 of the year following the one in which you wish to apply for your rebate.

You will find your Vacancy Rebate Application form by visiting your local Municipality’s website where you should be able to download the Application there.