Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers. Can't find what you're looking for?
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What can happen if I don’t pay my rates?
If you do not pay your rates and you have a mortgage, the Council can approach your mortgagee (such as your bank) and formally demand payment from them. This demand can only be made three months after we have advised the bank of the non payment and not before 1 November in the following financial year in which the rates were first assessed. Your bank may charge you additional costs and pay prior to receiving our demand.
If you do not have a mortgage then legal proceedings are likely to commence to recover what is owed. After the Court orders you to pay the amount claimed (including any costs, interest and disbursements), if this is not paid within three months, the Council may apply to the High Court to have the judgment enforced by sale or lease of the property rating unit.
What can happen if I don’t pay other Council accounts?
If you do not pay your account (such as library fees, dog impound fees?) then legal proceedings are likely to commence to recover what is owed. Judgment can be obtained, if payment has not been made to satisfy the amount owed (including any costs, interest and disbursements). Refer https://www.justice.govt.nz/fines/about-civil-debt/pay-civil-debt/ for enforcement options available.
Alternatively you could be recorded as a credit default debtor and this is likely to impact your credit rating and your ability to gain finance.
Why have the Council sent this to a Debt Collector?
When a debt or rates become overdue your account can be lodged with a collection agent. Prior to the debt being lodged correspondence would have been sent to the address held by the council requesting payment.
Who should I pay the Council or Debt Management Central (DMC)?
It doesn’t matter who you pay so long as you make sure the correct reference number is quoted, depending on who you are making your payments to.
Who do I set up Direct Debit with DMC or Council?
Direct debits are best being set up with the Council; however DMC can assist you with making this arrangement.
I have already paid this account to Council?
Contact us or the Council immediately to ensure your payment has been received. You must provide the details of the payment including date, amount, account paid and any reference numbers used.
Can I go to DMC office to make payment or talk to them?
DMC is not open to the public, however if necessary an appointment can be made to meet at the Council where payments can also be made.
What if I have been advised that my bank has been approached for payment?
Normally if your bank has been approached DMC will post a notification to the address or email on our file. After we have approached your bank if rates arrears are still owed or a formal arrangement hasn’t been made three months after the notification a formal demand will be sent for payment. Some banks will pay before a formal demand is sent and charge you additional fees.
What can I do if I have been served with Court documents?
Please contact DMC immediately to discuss the options available to you. If you decide to take no action and the debt relates to outstanding rates your property may be sold to recover the amount owed.