In a cautionary tale for homeowners, owners of townhouses in Barrhaven, Ontario have recently been hit by unexpected supplementary tax demands dating back three years.

Property assessments were carried out last spring and now the 72 owners have received bills of up to $10,000 due to be paid today to avoid interest charges.

Many of the owners pay their property taxes through their mortgage lenders but had seen the amounts they were paying drop due to lower bills. Some of the lucky ones had realised they were paying too little and put the extra money aside but for others it has meant dipping into emergency funds to cover the shortfall.

It’s not clear exactly what went wrong in this case, although somehow the assessment of the development had not taken place and owners were being billed for vacant land. It highlights the importance of owners checking figures for themselves and having a contingency fund to cover unexpected property tax demands.

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