PARP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- What is the difference between a complaint and an appeal?
- How long do I have to file a complaint against my current property assessment?
- What happens if I miss the deadline?
- When do hearings take place?
- How long is a typical residential hearing?
- What happens during a 30 minute hearing?
- Who can I contact to inquire about the status of my complaint?
- What is good evidence?
- What information is available to help me prepare for my hearing?
- Am I required to attend the hearing in person?
- When should I begin to prepare for my Property Assessment Review Panel hearing?
What is the difference between a complaint and an appeal?
A complaint is the first formal step in correcting an error to your property assessment or changing the assessed value or classification of your property. A property assessment complaint is heard by a Property Assessment Review Panel.An appeal is the second formal step in resolving a property assessment issue. An appeal of a property assessment is heard by the Property Assessment Appeal Board. In most cases, an appeal before the Property Assessment Appeal Board is the result of a person being dissatisfied with the decision of the Property Assessment Review Panel. In extraordinary situations, the Property Assessment Appeal Board may consider granting leave to an appeal that was not first heard by the Property Assessment Review Panel. Please refer to the Assessment Act or the Property Assessment Appeal Board website for more information.
You must file your complaint by January 31.
If you file a Notice of Complaint after January 31, the Property Assessment Review Panel must first determine if there are reasons to exercise its discretion and hear a late complaint. If the Panel determines your complaint was filed after the deadline and sees no reason to exercise its discretion, it (the Panel) will not hear your complaint. However, you still can appeal this decision to the Property Assessment Appeal Board.
Property Assessment Review Panels conduct hearings on weekdays typically between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm. In some areas of the Province, hearings may begin as early as the beginning of February and must be completed by the end of day on March 15 each year. The actual schedule for each Panel is dependent on a number of factors including the volume of hearings filed in a given year, notice requirements, availability of the venue and Assessment staff. If the hearing date provided is not convenient, BC Assessment staff will attempt to reschedule the hearing, though this may not be possible in all cases and alternatives to in-person attendance may be a required option.
The 30 minutes allocated to a hearing is broken down to allow time for each party to the complaint to make a presentation to the Panel as well as time for the Panel to come to a decision and communicate that decision to the parties. A typical hearing is broken into 5 sections: Process and Introductions: 4 minutes; Complainant Presentation: 8 minutes; BC Assessment Presentation: 8 minutes; Questions and Deliberations: 6 minutes; Panel Decision communicated: 4 minutes. Please click on this link to view or print a complete list showing a breakdown of each section.
Your local BC Assessment area office is responsible for scheduling your complaint and sending you a Notice of Hearing. If you have not received your Notice of Hearing by March 1, please contact the local BC Assessment office listed on the front of your Property Assessment Notice, or the Property Assessment Review Panel administration at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 250-356-7535.
Good evidence will support the change you wish to see to your property assessment. For example, if you think that your property is assessed too high, then you need to bring relevant property information that supports this position. Relevant property information is the address, lot size, living area and age of your property and of comparable properties in the same neighbourhood. You are also strongly encouraged to provide sales information from comparable properties that sold close to July 1 of the previous year. You can obtain sales information from BC Assessment, realtors, and your local Multiple Listing Service (Realtor.ca).
Please bring five copies of any written materials you wish to present: three for the Panel members, one for the BC Assessment representative, and one for yourself. Please see the Sample Evidence Package [PDF] for some examples of good information and sources.
We have prepared a guide that walks you through the steps of filing a complaint and preparing for your hearing. You can access the online guide, download a copy to print, or contact us to request a copy be mailed to you.
No, you are not required to attend your Property Assessment Review Panel hearing in person. If you are unable to attend your hearing, you may appoint a representative or agent to appear and present evidence on your behalf. Alternatively, you can submit a written statement of evidence for the Panel to consider. All evidence presented to a Panel either verbally or written is reviewed and considered prior to a Panel making its decision. In certain circumstances, with prior approval and arrangement, if the parties are unable to travel to the hearing location, hearings can be conducted by conference call.
You should begin to prepare for your Property Assessment Review Panel hearing soon after filing your property assessment complaint (appeal). You will receive a Notice of Hearing in the mail though it may only arrive five days prior to your hearing date. To allow yourself sufficient time to prepare a good package of evidence to support your position, you are encouraged to begin preparation early.