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.

Who Pays Rates?

The owner of a property rather than the occupier is the person responsible for ensuring the rates are paid.

There are some exceptions- e.g. for registered long0term leases that are at least 10 years long in certain circumstances. See Section 11 of the Act for further details.

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.

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 and we request you clear the rates for the entire year before we process the subdivision.

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 rating information database includes information such as the property location, valuation number, capital and land value, and current year rates.

If there are any incorrect details in the rating information database please advise the Rates Officer as soon as possible by emailing

Section 28A of the Act states that the local authority's complete rating information database, which includes the names and postal addresses of the owners of rating units must be available at the public office of the authority.  However as a property owner, you do not have to display your name and mailing address in the public database.

Apply to have your details withheld