Property owner responsibilities

The ratepayer will always be the owner, not the occupier. There will only be one rating unit and Council will only be able to remit rates if it has a policy which says it can do so.

Owner Liability

The owner of a property, rather than the occupier, will be the person responsible for ensuring the rates are paid. There may be instances where a commercial lease provides that the lessee is to pay the rates. In these cases the owner will still be invoiced and will need to pay the rates. It is then up to the owner to recover the rates from the lessee.

There are some transitional provisions which will allow the lessee or occupier to be invoiced directly. These situations are where the lease was entered into before 8 August 2001 and the rent cannot be renegotiated or where there is a registered lease of ten years or more which applies to the entire rating unit. This means that part of a property, such as a shop in a block of more than one, will not be separately rated. The owner of a property will receive one invoice for the entire property (rating unit). Again, an exception would only apply if there were a lease for the entire property which met the provisions noted above. Assessment notices will only be in two parts where a property requires different rating treatments, for example part is rateable and part is non-rateable.

Septic tank costs - the myth

There is a myth out there that if you have your own septic tank, with no wastewater attachment, that you are still paying for this in your rates. The answer is no. If you are not connected, you do not pay for this service. Read more about how wastewater costs are charged.

Selling your property

If you have sold your property you are liable for all rates due at the time the Notice of Sale is given. At the time of sale ensure that your Solicitor sends the Council the notice of change of property ownership. Payment of the rates owing at the time of sale is your responsibility, although you may be entitled to reimbursement from the new owner for their period of occupation.

If you have recently received an assessment that is still in your name it would indicate that the Nelson City Council has not received the Notice of Sale from your Solicitor. Please contact the Council and your Solicitor to ensure the notification of the sale is forthcoming.


The Council is required to strike its rates on the information contained in the Rating Information Database as at the 30 June in any year. Where subdivision has occurred and the Council has not received the new rating information, separate rate assessments are not produced until the next rating year - in these cases an apportionment of the total rates should be made between the parties concerned.

Land Information Memorandum request

If you are considering purchasing a property, you can request a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) report that Nelson City Council will prepare that details relevant information and any restrictions for the site. The report will hold contemporary and historical information that is held by the council regarding the site. It is recommended that a LIM report is requested prior to purchasing any property. Get a complete list of downloadable building consent applications, guides, and checklists.

Contacts for rates enquiries

Solicitor rates enquiries

The Solicitor Rates Enquiry form is to be used by all solicitors and law agencies acting on behalf of their clients in the sale of their property. This will ensure that you receive all the rating information that you need to perform the rating apportionment between the vendor and purchaser of the property.

Go to the solicitor rates enquiries online form

Customer service contacts

You can contact Council's Customer Services team on +64 3 546 0200, Fax +64 3 546 0392 or e-mail the NCC Rates Officer

You can also contact the Council offices which operate a 24 hour, seven days a week phone service on
+64 3 546 0200.

Nelson City Council
Civic House
PO Box 645
110 Trafalgar Street
Phone +64 3 546 0200 (all hours)
Fax: +64 3 546 0239