FAQs: About rates
Why do I need to pay rates?
Rates help pay for essential community services provided by your local council. These include waste removal, street lights, roads, carparks, libraries, child care, aged care and home help.
When are my rates due?
Every August your council will send a letter outlining how much your rates are. Some councils offer payment in full by 15 February, but otherwise, payment is made by quarterly instalments, due on:
- 30 September
- 30 November
- 28 February
- 31 May.
If you do not pay the first instalment, interest starts to accrue on the balance you owe. If you pay the first instalment at the same time as the second instalment, no further interest is payable provided you pay the third and fourth instalment on time.
How are the rates on my property determined?
Rates are calculated by the value of your property. The more your property is worth, the higher rates you pay.
When I purchase a property, what is the statement of adjustments?
When buying or selling a property, a statement of adjustments is prepared by your conveyancer or solicitor. At settlement, rates are usually paid by the new property owner to 30 June of that year. If you are selling and have paid the current quarter of rates, this does not mean that you have paid to the date that you will move out. The following is an example of how this works.
- Council rates for a property are $1,000 for the year. The council year runs from 1 July – 30 June (365 days).
- Settlement of this property is due on 31 May.
- The seller has paid $750 towards the rates for the year (three quarterly payments).
- The seller is responsible for paying rates on the property from 1 July – 31 May (336 days)
- The buyer is responsible for paying rates on the property from 1 June – 30 June (29 days).
- The statement of adjustments will show the purchaser needs to contribute 29 days which equals $79.45
- Any outstanding rates due to Council will be paid from the settlement funds. In this case there is $250 outstanding.
- Sellers share of the $250 = $170.55
- Buyers share of the $250 = $79.45
- The buyer is then responsible for the full rates for the next rating year.