Property problems: Owner, not tenant, primarily liable for rates

Monday 23 February 2004

Q. I own some commercial premises with three long-term tenants. In the past, separate rates bills went directly to each of my tenants, who paid them without any involvement from me. Now I receive one bill - in my name - for all three. This is inconvenient, especially when the tenants are responsible for the rates anyway under their leases. Is there anything I can do about this?

By The Landlord

A. There are two key changes in the new rating legislation, which is the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 applying since July 1 last year.

The first change is that the rating unit is now based on certificates of title - freehold, cross-lease or unit title - rather than separate occupation.

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