Property Ownership & Rate Responsibility
This page provides an overview of property owner rate responsibilities, the rating unit and Tasman District Council's annual rating information database.
The Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 has been in force since 1 July 2003. There are a number of concepts in the Act that are new or substantially revised from the Rating Powers Act.
One of the main changes is a shift to owner liability where the ratepayer will be the owner not the occupier. There will only be one rating unit and Council will only be able to remit rates if it has a policy which says it can do so.
The owner of a property rather than the occupier is the person responsible for ensuring the rates are paid.
There may be instances where a commercial lease provides that the lessee is to pay the rates. In these cases the owner will still be invoiced and will need to pay the rates. It is then up to the owner to recover the rates from the lessee.
There are transitional provisions which allow the lessee or occupier to be invoiced directly. These situations are where the lease was entered into before 8 August 2001 and the rent cannot be renegotiated or where there is a registered lease of ten years or more which applies to the entire rating unit. This means that part of a property, such as a shop in a block of five is not separately rated.
Under the Act the owner of a property receives one invoice for the entire property. Again, an exception would only apply if there were a lease for the entire property which met the provisions noted above.
Assessment notices are only in two parts where a property requires different rating treatments, for example part is rateable and part is non-rateable.
If You Have Sold Your Property You are Liable for All Rates Due at the Time of Settlement
At the time of sale you need to ensure that your solicitor sends Council the notice of sale or transfer. Payment of the current instalment may be your responsibility, although you may be entitled to reimbursement from the new owner for their period of occupation.
If a rate assessment is in your name and you have sold the property it would mean that Council has not received a notice of sale or transfer from your solicitor. If you have recently purchased a property and receive a rate assessment showing arrears it would indicate that the previous owner has not cleared the rates on settlement. In both cases you should urgently contact your solicitor.
If a property is subdivided or resurveyed during a rating year the assessment details will remain unchanged until the start of the next rating year in July. It is the responsibility of the original owner to settle the rates with Council.
A Rating Unit is based on a Certificate of Title
In most cases a rating unit is the area specified in the Certificate of Title. Exceptions may apply where a property is used as one farming operation, a significant improvement straddles the boundary of two titles or where the titles are legally required to be sold together.
Rating Information Database
Our rating information database is available for you to view during office hours and a public notice is issued in May to remind you of this.
The names of owners are not publicly available unless it is necessary to identify the property. If there are any incorrect details in the rating information database please advise the Rates Officer as soon as possible.
Ratepayers can request a name and address suppression form from the Council if they wish to have their name and mailing address deleted from the public database.