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Failure to pay your rates

If you are having trouble making payment

If you are having trouble, or believe you will have trouble, paying your rates, you can:

Penalty interest

You will incur a penalty interest for all unpaid overdue rates.

You will continue paying penalty interest on overdue rates and charges until we have received full payment of the outstanding amount.

The penalty interest rate is fixed under the Penalty Interest Rates Act 1983.

Debt collection

If you continue to fail to pay your rates notice, we may need to send your rates account to our solicitors to follow up payment. You will receive a Letter of Demand, which will require you to pay, or make an arrangement to pay, within 14 days.

If you fail to respond to this Letter of Demand or Letter of Demand reminder, you will be referred for the commencement of legal proceedings by our debt collection agency. A summons (complaint) will be issued to those property owners who have any rates outstanding.

Once a summons/complaint is prepared and lodged with the Court for issue, you will also be required to pay the associated legal costs. Within 21 days from the date of service of a summons/complaint you are obligated to either:

  • pay the claim in full plus costs
  • request a suitable payment arrangement
  • lodge a completed Notice of Defence with the Court (thereby giving notice of your intention to dispute the claim).

Sale of property

Under Section 181 of the Local Government Act 1989, Council has the power to sell properties for unpaid rates where:

  1. 3 or more years’ worth of rates are unpaid.
  2. There is no arrangement in place to pay the account.
  3. Council has a Court Order requiring the payment of the amount.

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