Overdue Rates FAQs
If you have not paid an instalment in full by the due date, a penalty of 10% of the remaining unpaid instalment amount is added on the next day.
A further penalty of 10% is added to all rates and charges that remain unpaid on 30 June each year.
The due date is shown on your rates instalment invoice and also on the Rates Key Dates table on the website.
If you have been contacted by a debt collection agency you should arrange payment with them. Your debt may be recorded with a credit bureau and can affect your ability to borrow money in the future.
If the rates and penalties are not paid by 1 November, following the financial year in which they first became payable, Council can recover the rates arrears from your first mortgagee. Your mortgagee may take the funds from your bank account to pay these or treat the amount as part of the money secured by your mortgage.
Council can take court proceedings to recover the unpaid rates and penalties through a judgement order. The court costs will be added to the amount you have to pay. If you don’t pay, or make a suitable arrangement to pay your rates and costs within six months, the Council can apply to enforce the judgement order against the title to your property. You will then be unable to deal with your land without Council’s consent.
If the rates, penalties, and costs continue to remain unpaid, Council can apply to the Court to sell or lease your property with the proceeds used to cover all of the outstanding amounts, including the costs of the Court Registrar in selling or leasing your property. If there is any money left after that, it is paid to the Public Trustee and that agency is responsible for paying the balance to any person who has an interest in the land.
Land can be treated as abandoned when the rates remain unpaid for three years and the ratepayer is unknown, cannot be found, is deceased and has no personal representative or has given notice to Council that they intend to abandon the land. In such cases, Council can apply to the Court for the land to be declared abandoned and for Council to sell or lease the land to recover the rates, penalties and costs outstanding.