What is the Alberta Seniors Property Tax Deferral Program
In Alberta – if you are over the age of 65 you may be eligible to defer all or part of your residential property taxes (including outstanding arrears and penalties if you qualify) by acquiring a low-interest home equity loan through the Government of Alberta. By qualifying for the program – you may be eligible to have all your property taxes paid to your respective municipality on your behalf. The loan gets repaid (with interest) when your primary residence gets sold or if you are no longer eligible for the loan.
Eligibility for the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program
In order to qualify for this program in Alberta on your primary residence you must:
- Be 65 years of age or older. Only one spouse needs to be 65 in order to qualify and must be registered as an owner of the property in a Land Title Office
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- Be a resident of Alberta
- Have a minimum 25% equity in your primary residence
There are also additional criteria for your property to be qualified such as:
- Only residential properties are considered for this program and only your primary residence is eligible. If you have investment properties, summer homes, rental properties or commercial properties – those properties would not be eligible under this program. However, residential properties including mobile and manufactured homes on a residential property, residential portions of farmland and residential portions of commercial property may also qualify for the Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program
- The property you are applying for must be insured by an insurance company
- There must be sufficient equity in the home (at least 25%)
We recommend you speak with an Alberta real estate lawyer to see if your property qualifies for the program. More information on the program, loan applications and loan agreements can be found on the Government of Alberta’s website under Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Resources.
Factors Affecting Your Eligibility for the Loan
There are certain factors that may prevent you from being eligible for this loan. Some of these include charges filed against your home. Examples include:
- Any pending litigation against the property
- Maintenance enforcement
- Reverse mortgage
However, if you have these charges removed from your land title certificate before you apply for the loan – you may still be eligible to qualify for the loan. One of our lawyers may be able to assist with this task should you require assistance with this.
While monthly payments are not necessarily required for this program – you may opt to repay all or parts of your deferred taxes and interest at any time. The loan however becomes fully due once:
- You sell your home
- Are no longer a registered owner
- The property or home is no longer your primary residence
Payment for the loan can be done through online banking if you bank with Alberta Treasury Branch, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank, Scotia Bank, Servus Credit Union or TD Canada Trust. Alternatively, you can also send cheques for payment to the Government of Alberta with your personal health number attached.
If you happen to pass away before the loan gets paid off - existing loans and eligibility to apply for future loans may continue for a surviving partner or spouse if:
- They are 55 years or older and are a registered owner of the primary residence
- Live(d) in the primary residence before their spouse/partner passed away
- Continues to reside in the primary residence
Once the loan has been paid off – the caveat gets discharged from the land title certificate
Speak with an Edmonton Real Estate Lawyer If You Are Eligible for the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program
If you are a senior citizen and would like legal assistance with applying for and/or qualifying for the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program then please feel free to contact our Edmonton law firm today by dialing 587-410-2500. One of our Edmonton real estate lawyers would be pleased to assist you with you with this request.
Disclaimer: Please note the advice contained in this article does not constitute legal advice and is only intended to act as a general overview on the topic at hand. Each legal situation is unique, and we recommend you speak with a real estate lawyer from Alberta if you require legal counsel on the Alberta Senior’s Property Tax Deferral Program