B6 - Rates Relief

There are two options that councils offer to help home-owners who are experiencing difficulties paying their rates. These are a rates rebate and a rates postponement.

1. Rates Rebate Scheme

This scheme allows a council to reduce the rates bill to eligible low-income home-owners to help them in times of financial hardship.

Pros

The rebate could mean a substantial reduction in your rates bill.

Cons

You have to apply for the rebate yearly.

What do I need in order to take this option?

Eligibility

To be eligible for the scheme:

Note: Generally, people who live in licenceto-occupy dwellings are not eligible for rates rebate. However, some councils do offer a rates reduction for people living in some licence-tooccupy situations, such as papakāinga housing or retirement villages.

Applying

You will need to apply to your local council for a rates rebate and provide information about your income, your living situation and the amount of rates you pay.

Note: Even if you have an income above the income threshold, you might still be eligible for a partial rebate.

Could this option limit my future choices?

No.

For more information

2. Rates postponement

Some councils allow some residential rate payers to postpone rates payments in times of financial difficulty. Generally, the rates will need to be repaid after the owner-occupier has died or no longer owns the property.

Pros

Cons

What do I need in order to take this option?

Eligibility and applying

You need to meet the criteria set down by your council and apply following their application process.

Could this option limit my future choices?

Yes, the rates must be paid eventually, and you might end up paying interest as well. This means that you might find it hard to move at a later date because you may not get as much money in the hand from the sale of your house as you thought.

For more information