• reduce the risk of fire
• reduce safety hazards for firefighters and emergency personnel (i.e., gaping holes in floors, broken steps, etc.)
• reduce urban blight
• contribute positively to neighbourhood renewal by discouraging vacant buildings to remain inactive for extended periods of time
• reduce illegal activities
• ensure vacant buildings are brought to habitable standards prior to occupancy.
The Vacant Buildings Program targets vacant buildings that are dilapidated, dangerous, improperly secured, subject to public complaints, and that have been vacant for extended periods of time.
Vacant Residential Boarded Building Permits and Fees
Vacant Residential Boarded Building Permit fees are intended to ensure boarding standards, discourage long term boarding, and through the partial, time-limited refund, encouraged rehabilitation and removal of boards in a timely manner.
• The Residential Boarded Building Permit fee is $2,000 for a single one-year permit.
• 75% of this fee is refundable if during the life of the permit the building is conventionally secured (i.e., secured in a non-boarded fashion such as glazed windows and locked doors), meets all vacant building standards, or an Occupancy Certificate is issued.
A $1,000 penalty will be applied in all cases for owners who do not obtain Boarded Building Permits when required. The fee for the applicable permit and the penalty will be added to the property taxes. How to Avoid/Reduce Boarded Building Permit Fees
If the owner of a non-compliant vacant building fails to comply with an order to clean up the property, fix up the building, take out a Boarded Building Permit or otherwise comply
with the By-law, the City is entitled to remediate the non-compliance (including
demolishing the building) of the property at the owner’s expense. The Public Service will
engage in remediation when it makes sense to do so (i.e., to alleviate dangerous
situations, when a Boarded Building Permit needs to be taken out, when minimal expenditures can have a large positive impact on the community, and when the costs
are likely to be recovered from the owner). When remediation takes place, these costs
(including $75/hr costs for arranging remedial action as outlined in point 5) will be added
to the taxes on the property.
New and Increased Fees Based on Cost Recovery and that Owners Who Comply with Property Standards Should Not Subsidize Those Who Do Not
• In addition to fees designed to discourage boarding (see More Assertive Action on Boarded Buildings ), new fees will be imposed and existing inspection fees will be increased in order to achieve cost recovery. Owners who comply with property standards should not have to subsidize those that do not.
New Occupancy Certificate Fee ($483.00)
Vacant residential buildings that have been boarded or that have been subject to an order prohibiting use or occupancy must not be re-occupied until an Occupancy Certificate has been issued by the City of Winnipeg.
In order to obtain an Occupancy Certificate for a vacant residential building, a property owner must make arrangements for an Occupancy Certificate inspection.
Click here for a printable Occupancy Certificate application which must be subbmitted in person at #18-30 Fort Street 204-986-2234.
The Occupancy Certificate fee is $483.00. This fee must be paid prior to the occupancy certificate inspection. After the fee is paid, a by-law enforcement officer will conduct an inspection.
The Public Service will monitor and report performance.
Performance measurement indicators are expected to be released commencing April 2011.
Boarded Building Exemption Certificates (BBEC)
When buildings are boarded for the purposes of securing a building during a construction process, the property owner can apply for a ‘Boarded Building Exemption Certificate’, which allows the building to be boarded without the Boarded Building Permit fee or permit itself. There is no charge for this certificate.
In order to be given consideration for an exemption certificate, an owner must apply in writing by submitting a letter of undertaking that contains and/or addresses the following requirements:
1. A definitive statement/commitment that the building will be renovated to at least a state of compliance with the minimum requirements of the by-law; preferably to re-occupancy standards.
2. Contain a time frame for the renovation work; both start and completion. The time frame for the renovation must be reasonable to the extent of the work required to bring the building into compliance or to occupancy standards.
3. Any and all approvals and building, electrical and plumbing permits, if required, are obtained.
4. Once permits are obtained, active work commences and continues steadily and at a reasonable pace to completion.
5. Any and all work is done in a manner accepted as good workmanship in the trade concerned, using material suitable/approved and sufficient for the purpose.
A BBEC can be requested by submitting the required Letter of Undertaking to:
Housing & Existing Buildings Administrator
Building Inspections Branch
Planning, Property and Development Department
4th Floor – 65 Garry Street
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4K4
An exemption request should include:
Address / location
Date of boarding
Estimated length of time the building will be boarded (maximum 1 year)
There is no charge for a Boarded Building Exemption Certificate.
During the period when a Boarded Building Exemption Certificate is active, the property is not subject to the requirements for a boarding permit, but is still required to be boarded securely and in compliance with the By-law. In the event that a boarded building exemption certificate is issued and a ‘No-Occupancy Order’ has not been issued, the property will not be subject to a Schedule A inspection fee, or the requirements to obtain an Occupancy Certificate prior to re-occupancy.
If the conditions of a Certificate of Exemption are not met, all requirements and fees will apply.
A Boarded Building Exemption Certificate can be revoked if, in the opinion of the Administrator, adequate construction progress is not being made and / or the nature of the work no longer necessitates the building to be boarded.
If you need to board your vacant building, take out the Boarded Building Permit in advance of boarding. A penalty of $1000 will be applied in addition to the Boarded Building Permit fee if a property owner is ordered to acquire a Boarded Building Permit. Additionally, if the City takes out a Boarded Building Permit on behalf of the property owner due to non-compliance with an Order, additional administrative time (minimum $100) will be charged.
75% of the Residential Boarded Building Permit fee (e.g. $1500) will be refunded if the building is conventionally secured OR if an Occupancy Certificate has been issued within one year of your Boarded Building Permit being issued.