Real Estate

Property Tax Bill from previous owner

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 31st, 2022 2:52 am
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2779 posts
659 upvotes
Toronto

Property Tax Bill from previous owner

Hellp fellow RFDers,

I have recently purchased a condo, and my lawyer has already sent in a request to change the ownership of the property so the City of Toronto can issue me (new owner) an account statement with remaining amounts owing.

However, it has already been a month after closing and the previous owner (seller) has requested that I pay his tax bill, but I am not sure if this is the correct procedure as I thought the City should be sending me an updated account statement (with my name) so I would pay under my name instead of under the seller's name.

What is the chance of me paying the seller's tax bill and they end up getting a refund later due to ownership change, and I end up with a bill from the City in the future? Wouldn't I end up having to pay the bill twice?

I asked my lawyer and he told me to just pay it.
17 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 16, 2008
10291 posts
4553 upvotes
Maple
Someone did not do job properly, seller's lawyer or yours. Should be adjustment bill before closing the deal (maintenance fee, property tax, etc)
...
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2779 posts
659 upvotes
Toronto
teoconca wrote: Someone did not do job properly, seller's lawyer or yours. Should be adjustment bill before closing the deal (maintenance fee, property tax, etc)
We already have the statement of adjustment, and we would be responsible for the amount after the closing, which we are fine with. The issue is that I have not yet received the revised tax bill for the new property with my name on it. I am not sure if I should be paying someone else's bill.
Deal Addict
Sep 3, 2020
2720 posts
1988 upvotes
Your lawyer should do his job, but hopefully there are more helpful responses.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Oct 16, 2008
10291 posts
4553 upvotes
Maple
blitzforce wrote: We already have the statement of adjustment, and we would be responsible for the amount after the closing, which we are fine with. The issue is that I have not yet received the revised tax bill for the new property with my name on it. I am not sure if I should be paying someone else's bill.
Were you and your lawyer aware of potential revise tax bill?

I would not pay for this, this is not my mistake.
...
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2779 posts
659 upvotes
Toronto
teoconca wrote: Were you and your lawyer aware of potential revise tax bill?

I would not pay for this, this is not my mistake.
I don't think this is a mistake on either part, it's just that both my lawyer and the seller's lawyer has already sent in a request to change ownership (proper procedure), but it just takes a long time for the City to process anything (government workers right?).

I am expecting that the City should be making the amendments and sending me (new owner) a revised final bill, but just not sure when.

My previous experience in the past is that the seller would pay off the entire tax bill, and I will reimburse them during closing via the statement of adjustment. In my current purchase, the seller paid me for his portion of the bill (Jan-Feb) and expecting that I will pay the entire bill in the future. However, I thought I would be paying the full bill under my name, instead of his.

Does anyone here have experience on how to deal with this? I don't want to not pay his bill and end up with a lien (with penalty) on my property.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2779 posts
659 upvotes
Toronto
berrytree wrote: Your lawyer should do his job, but hopefully there are more helpful responses.
The lawyer is telling me to pay the seller's bill. Not sure if this is a common practice nowadays.
Sr. Member
Oct 14, 2010
831 posts
964 upvotes
Toronto
blitzforce wrote: The lawyer is telling me to pay the seller's bill. Not sure if this is a common practice nowadays.
Same issue with us too, we sold the house in December, but the city hasn't updated it's records.

We are not going to pay the taxes for the buyer and then have them refund us. We have told the buyers to take care of it with the city and sent them the bill.
Deal Addict
Sep 3, 2020
2720 posts
1988 upvotes
@budwizestest seems to have practical experience which is great - but it also looks like he is doing what the current sellers are telling you to do - which is pay the bill.

I was going to say how annoying it is that the Cities can't process this and make it fall back on the buyers and sellers.

I was also going to say it's probably a matter of the City not being up to date so the lawyer may be telling you to pay it it to make it "easier."

I would want everything on the statement of adjustment and/or some type of contractual adjustement/addendum.

Your lawyer should clearly advise you on this IMO.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2779 posts
659 upvotes
Toronto
berrytree wrote: @budwizestest seems to have practical experience which is great - but it also looks like he is doing what the current sellers are telling you to do - which is pay the bill.

Your lawyer should clearly advise you on this IMO.
As I have said before, my lawyer is asking us to just pay their bill. My post here is to see if there is anyone that has had a similar situation and dealt with it.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2779 posts
659 upvotes
Toronto
I have been trying to contact the City of Toronto tax department for over a week, and the lines are always busy. The emails that I have sent to their property tax department also don't get any response. I just don't understand why a significant portion of my income goes towards taxes to pay government workers sometimes. Even utilities companies get back to me relatively quickly.
Sr. Member
Oct 14, 2010
831 posts
964 upvotes
Toronto
blitzforce wrote: As I have said before, my lawyer is asking us to just pay their bill. My post here is to see if there is anyone that has had a similar situation and dealt with it.
Just curious, why do you call it their bill?

The property is owned by you and the taxes are to be paid by you. The city hasn't updated it's records yes, but the taxes are on the property and it's owners.
Deal Addict
Sep 3, 2020
2720 posts
1988 upvotes
blitzforce wrote: As I have said before, my lawyer is asking us to just pay their bill. My post here is to see if there is anyone that has had a similar situation and dealt with it.
@budwizestest obviously
Newbie
Dec 25, 2020
1 posts
2 upvotes
Doesn't matter whose name on the bill, it's the roll number where this property tax related to. You should pay the bill. It happened to me before and i called the city's revenue office to have this confirmed. Before the pandemic, i would go to the city hall to get this changed on the closing day without any confusion.
Sr. Member
Oct 14, 2010
831 posts
964 upvotes
Toronto
berrytree wrote: @budwizestest obviously
Actually, twice.

Once when we bought a condo a few years ago. Went to pay the second/final bill (which never arrived) and was told, oh the records haven't been updated. We will update them now while you pay...

The second time was now when we sold out house. In contrast, Oakville much faster in updating and we received the bill for our new place on time and in our names.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 22, 2009
2779 posts
659 upvotes
Toronto
budwizestest wrote: Just curious, why do you call it their bill?

The property is owned by you and the taxes are to be paid by you. The city hasn't updated it's records yes, but the taxes are on the property and it's owners.
What I am afraid of is that the City might issue a refund to the seller after we have paid the tax bill in full after realizing that they are no longer the owner. After issuing the seller a refund, they will send me (new owner) for our portion of the tax bill.

I just don't want to pay the bill twice.
Sr. Member
Feb 10, 2008
656 posts
307 upvotes
Toronto
This seems odd to me. Did the previous owner's call you? Send you the bill?

If the bill is in their name I certainly wouldn't be paying it. Yes, it's probably correct since it's for your property now but if you had no contact with the previous owner's you never would have got the bill.

If the city eventually sends you a bill with interest for late payment I'd argue you never received a bill despite asking for it. Sounds like their problem, not yours.
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2017
1214 posts
975 upvotes
GVA
blitzforce wrote: What I am afraid of is that the City might issue a refund to the seller after we have paid the tax bill in full after realizing that they are no longer the owner. After issuing the seller a refund, they will send me (new owner) for our portion of the tax bill.

I just don't want to pay the bill twice.
Just call city and ask if even your lawyer you cant trust.
profit on 6/23/2021 = 117.61% since 11/10/2020 to be exact😎

Top