What if I can’t pay my rates?

Publish Date : 21 Aug 2023
We know that for some people, rates are a considerable cost.

We know that for some people, rates are a considerable cost, including those affected by the severe weather earlier this year.

If anyone is concerned about being able to pay rates, we encourage them to get in touch with our credit control team to discuss the options available, including a rates postponement scheme and flexible payment options.

If you have difficulties paying your property rates, there is help available including a range of options for low-income households and community groups.

Our credit control team can be reached on rates.collections@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz to discuss what options are available and how we can help.

When are rates due?

You need to pay your property rates on or before the four instalment dates:

Instalment number

Instalment date

Instalment 1

Thursday 31 August 2023

Instalment 2

Thursday 30 November 2023

Instalment 3

Wednesday 28 February 2024

Instalment 4

Friday 31 May 2024


Can I make part payments?

Yes – you can make a part-payment into your property rates account at any time.

You can use any payment method we offer, as long as you pay the full amount of your property rates instalment by the due date.

What happens if I am late paying my rates?

If you do not pay the full instalment amount of your property rates by the due date, we will add a 10 per cent penalty to the amount left to pay.

What happens if I don't pay my property rates?

If you have a mortgage recorded on your property, any arrears (debt owing at 30 June) will be notified to your mortgage provider.

If you do not pay the outstanding amount within 90 days after we have notified your mortgage provider, we will request that they make this payment on your behalf.

We notify your mortgagee (usually a bank) after the fourth instalment due date has expired. In early August, we inform them that, if you do not pay the outstanding amount within 90 days, we will request that they (the mortgagee) make this payment on your behalf.

If a property is mortgage-free, our legal team will pursue the outstanding rates directly with the owner. If this does not result in payment, the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 allows us to demand the sale of a property to recover unpaid rates.

Why is it important to pay rates?

Rates are property owners’ contributions to a shared investment in our community's well-being – it’s your contribution to creating a city that all Aucklanders can thrive in and be proud of.

Rates support vital services like waste management, maintaining community buildings and playgrounds, emergency management, as well as public transport, pools, public art, and libraries. 

You can read more about what your rates pay for here.

Help for low-income households and community groups

You can apply for a property rates rebate

Follow our guide on the Auckland Council website to check if you are eligible for a property rates rebate. We will help you through the application process and list the information needed to support your application.

The closing date for property rate rebates for the 2023/2024 financial year is 30 June 2024. However, we suggest that you submit your completed application early to avoid missing the closing date. It can take up to two months to process a rebate if you submit an application between August and November, or between April and June.

You can apply for remission (reduction) of property rates penalties

If you make a property rates payment after the due date, we may apply penalties.

We may be able to remit (reduce) your penalties under some circumstances. For example, if you have paid after the penalty date for no more than one instalment, but you have not received a property rates penalty remission under the policy within the past two years.

When a small balance is overdue which is uneconomical to collect, we may write off the balance in line with our other procedures. We will not apply penalties in these circumstances.

You can request a postponement of a property rates

Postponement of residential property rates payments provide you an option to postpone all or part of your property rates payments for an agreed period of time.

Rates relief, support and information for Aucklanders with storm impacted properties

Is there rates relief for those properties impacted by the severe weather?

On 27 July, the Governing Body agreed to provide a 100 per cent rates remission for 2023/2024 for properties uninhabitable as a result of severe weather events from the first half of 2023 with a further remission of 100 per cent in 2024/2025 for properties that remain uninhabitable as at 30 June 2024.

Red placarded properties automatically get 100 per cent rates relief applied to their rates invoices. Yellow placarded properties will need to apply using this online form.

What does uninhabitable mean?

All properties with red stickers on 30 June 2023 are considered uninhabitable.

If your property has another coloured sticker and you believe it is uninhabitable because of the extreme weather events in the first half of 2023, please apply using the online form and we will assess your situation. All applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

When will my property’s rating valuation be reassessed?

If there has been significant and long-lasting physical damage because of the extreme weather events in the first half of 2023, you can request a rating valuation review by emailing ratesrelief@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

For all other properties, your rating valuation will remain as it is until the next city-wide revaluation which is due for publication late 2024. This ratings valuation will be used to set rates for the 2025/2026 rating year.         

What other financial support is available for displaced homeowners and tenants?

We encourage residents displaced from their homes to recheck their eligibility for financial assistance through the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). You can contact MSD by calling 0800 559 009. You can find out more information on how MSD can support you by visiting workandincome.govt.nz

From 4 September, those people who left their homes because of extreme weather events earlier this year, will be able to receive interim financial support when their insurance payments for temporary accommodation run out. Find out more here or email our recovery team.

Auckland Council has met with representatives of the banking industry, and they have assured us that banks are committed to working with their customers experiencing financial hardship. We urge people to contact their mortgage provider to discuss what support is available.

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