top of page

Why Are Vacant Homes A Problem?: Protecting Vacant Properties & Safeguarding Your Real Estate Assets

Why are vacant homes a problem? Leaving a house vacant is not just a matter of locking the door and walking away. There are severe legal implications that homeowners need to be aware of.

Door left open in vacant home with leaves and debris entering home.
Vacant unkept home.

At 12 Gates Property Services, we recognize the unique challenges that come with leaving properties vacant in Ontario, Canada. Simply locking the doors and walking away is not enough. There are legal and security concerns that property owners need to be mindful of.

Our comprehensive guide is designed to address these issues and offer effective strategies to shield vacant properties from potential risks, including squatters and legal complications, specifically in the Ontario region.

Why are Vacant Homes a Problem? Legal Considerations in Ontario:

Understanding Squatters' Rights

In Ontario, squatting rights operate within specific legal frameworks. While the province doesn’t explicitly define squatters' rights, adverse possession laws mandate uninterrupted occupation for a defined period to potentially claim ownership.

Defining Abandoned Property

Abandonment of personal property occurs when an owner intentionally relinquishes control. Real property might not be abandoned under certain conditions, but a vacant homeowner's property could be deemed abandoned, potentially allowing others to claim ownership.

Lender Actions and Property Taxes

Delinquent mortgage payments prompt lenders to inspect properties. Inaccurate assessments might label homes as abandoned without proper diligence. Property taxes remain due on vacant properties; delinquency can result in fines and government liens.

Homeowners' Insurance Implications

Standard insurance policies often exclude coverage for theft or damage in a vacant home after a certain period. Reviewing policies, obtaining endorsements, or separate insurance for vacant properties is essential for homeowners in Ontario.

Safeguarding Strategies for Vacant Properties:

  1. Regular Inspections: Regular property inspections significantly reduce the likelihood of squatters legally residing on the property.

  2. Securing the Property: Ensuring all entry points are secure is crucial. Displaying "No Trespassing" signs acts as a deterrent to potential squatters.

  3. Property Maintenance: Regular upkeep diminishes a property's appeal to potential squatters.

  4. Neighborhood Communication: Informing your immediate neighbours about property vacancies and providing a contact point for any suspicious activity fosters a supportive community network.

  5. Invest in Surveillance: Installing monitoring systems and alarms actively deters squatters, especially when coupled with security personnel.

Dealing with Squatters

In case of squatter presence, prompt action with written eviction notices is crucial. Professional eviction services can effectively address the issue while minimizing liability risks.

At 12 Gates Property Services, we are dedicated to providing homeowners with comprehensive guidance on securing vacant properties in Ontario. Understanding the legal implications and implementing proactive measures is crucial to safeguarding properties from potential risks.

For personalized consultation and more information, Book a Strategy Call

12 Gates Property Services - Your Experts in Vacant Property Management


6 views0 comments
bottom of page