QLD Council Rates Overdue - Can They Sell My Property?

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3 December 2014
Hi I have quite a large sum of council rates overdue to the Scenic Rim Council in Qld. I have made agreement to pay for the last year so far my current rates which I have kept up with. I have received an email stating that unless the outstanding amount is paid by the end of December 2014 that Council will consider going ahead with selling my property when they sit in January 2015.

I at the moment am awaiting a settlement for damages from an injury and my lawyer is in negotiations for that and have proceeded with court proceedings to keep my case alive and my lawyer believes that a settlement is reached in most cases prior to trial.

I have sent copies of the correspondence relating to this stating that either way the offers so far made to me are enough to pay the debt though upon advice from my lawyer that I exhaust all avenues of receiving fair damages due to my injuries. I have asked for an extension of time until settlement comes through.

Also that if need be that I would approach my bank to get a personal loan, though this would be a last resort as repayments would be hefty and I am on centrelink payments.

I too have asked the Council to consider stopping any further interest charges due to my situation and hardship I am in. They have said no. I also offered to pay a small amount on top of my current rate payments to lower debt though upon trying to negotiate with a debt collector about this they wanted $400 a week which is more than I get each week.

I have lived here for 10 years and am not going anywhere and if I was to sell and made any profit the rates would have to be paid out anyways. Also the last valuation I had done was undervalued by $20,000 which was done in the last 6 months or so. I was wondering as I read somewhere online that if I was on centrelink payments that they could not proceed and that if house undervalued they could not proceed as what would be the point.

I appreciate if you could answer my questions and give me any more pointers.

Thank you

Amanda E

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Hi @theoneoflight
Have a look at this previous LawAnswers thread "Injunction to Stop Sale of Property? Council Rates Payment Issue" that relates to your question. The same Local Government Regulation applies to the Scenic Rim Council.

In relation to market value, section 137 of the Regulation says that 'a written report about the market value of land from a valuer registered under the Valuers Registration Act 1992 who is not an employee of the local government is evidence of the market value of the land'.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Unpaid council rates entitles the council to register a charge over your property and this entitles them to sell it off to recover the costs. In terms of valuation, the council is entitled to sell at any time they wish. They should get an expert written valuation, as Amanda E said, given that different valuers make different valuations, the council valuation may be slightly lower than what you have. This is normal with valuations.