Montreal property valuations are rising. This is what you are able to do about it
Montreal property owners have been hit with massive increases in their valuations — on average, the increase is expected to grow 32 per cent over the next three years.
It was a rude awakening for Sylvia Bielec when she checked the mail Wednesday.
“At first I thought it was a mistake,” she said.
According to the city, her home rose in value by 46 per cent — a $200,000 increase over the last valuation.
“There is a slight increase every year, and you have the comparison from last year and you’re like ‘okay, that makes sense’,” she said. But this year, “we’re all completely shocked.”
Realtors say the new valuations reflect the peak of the hot housing market over the last three years which, according to realtor Amy Assaad, has cooled.
“The real estate market of the past 3 years is not representative of the next 3 years,” she said. “Interest rates are already having a negative impact and it seems irresponsible of the city.”
“They shouldn’t be adding additional financial burdens to Montrealers at this moment.”
However, just because your house may be valued at 40 per cent higher, that doesn’t mean your tax bill will go up by that much.
The city says it won’t raise property taxes above the inflation rate, which is currently 7 per cent.
Still, Bielec says that’s a hefty increase.
“Homeowners are not people who are necessarily wealthy,” she said.
“I live in a very modest home, the home valuation was not very high … I think anytime when you’re being asked to spend $200 here, $200 there, $200 there, that adds up,” said Bielec, who told CTV that, despite her rising costs, she’s not expecting a raise at work.
And it’s not just home owners — renters could also be hit, as landlords pass on part of their tax hikes to tenants.
HOW TO CONTEST IT
There is recourse available for property owners who want to contest their valuation.
If you feel that your valuation isn’t right, you can apply for an adjustment on the city’s website.
However, the burden of proof is on you as an owner, and it costs about $300 to contest for most homes, which isn’t refundable, even if you win.
Grounds to lower your valuation include breakage, construction defects, nuisances like noise and pollution, or if its inappropriate to your financial situation (loss of rent, high expenses, sale of comparable buildings).
You should also look at the sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood before contesting.