The High Court has ruled that an Auckland North Shore property at 2/57 Northboro Rd, Belmont must be sold because of $59,393 unpaid rates.
“The owners have made no rates payments since 31 March 2005 and have not responded to any council contact including reminder notices since 2012,” an Auckland Council statement said.
“This is the first of an historical list of large overdue rates that the council is working through using a court process.
“It is the High Court that is involved in the sale process, not Auckland Council.
“In the Belmont case, the court has now appointed a real estate agent to action the sale.
“Any balance is returned to the particular ratepayer (usually the owner and registered proprietor of the property).”
Barfoot & Thompson says it is being sold according to the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 and on instructions from the Registrar of the High Court.
The property is an undivided half share in 718 square metres.
“The property comprises a vacant, residential section. The rear section is accessed by a shared concrete driveway, is mainly grassed having a gentle slope to the northwest enjoying a sunny warm aspect,” Barfoots said.
“The section is zoned 4A and is located in a popular location at the eastern upper end of Northboro Road and within close walking distance of Takapuna Grammar School and public transport and handy to Takapuna beach.”
The auction is at Barfoot’s HQ in Shortland St in the CBD on Wednesday April 22 at 9am.
“Parliament granted local authorities broad powers under the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 to assess, levy and collect rates.
“In exercising these powers, the rating sale process is used only as a last resort where the ratepayer can pay but refuses to do so or where the ratepayer refuses to respond to efforts to collect the arrears,” the council said.
Kevin Ramsay, the council’s chief financial officer, said that the council worked hard to assist ratepayers who have genuine hardship issues.
In total, 20,051 Auckland ratepayers qualified for a rates rebate last rating year, Ramsay said.
In addition the council agreed to 337 rates payments being postponed.
“If a ratepayer is experiencing hardship, they are encouraged to contact council to discuss their situation and the various payment options available to them,” Ramsay said.
“We have a rates customer service and credit control team set up to deal with these situations.”
Full details about all the schemes available and application details can be found on the council’s website under rates.
“We believe it is important to ensure fairness and equity for all ratepayers and so it is unfair that those who pay their rates regularly are subsidising those who do not.”
Similar action is being initiated for seven other cases of long-standing unpaid rates.
Four rates invoices are sent throughout the year along with about seven reminder letters if rates are not cleared by the four instalment due dates.
The council said it was unable to disclose details of the owners or property involved in individual cases because of the Privacy Act.