Rates debt prompts sale of prop­erty

Cambridge Edition - - OUT & ABOUT - REXINE HAWES

Two Waikato prop­er­ties could be sold to pay back $25,000 in un­paid rates owed to the Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil.

The owner of the prop­er­ties, in Wa­haroa, also had un­paid rates owed to the Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil.

The district coun­cil is about to ap­ply to the high court for per­mis­sion to sell the ad­ja­cent prop­er­ties.

If granted, the owner, who lived at one of the prop­er­ties, would still have six months to set­tle the debt be­fore a for sale sign was posted.

The de­ci­sion to go to court was ticked off by the district coun­cil’s cor­po­rate and op­er­a­tions com­mit­tee.

The prop­erty owner did not want to com­ment when ap­proached at his home.

He said he was aware the coun­cil was mov­ing to sell his prop­er­ties.

He didn’t say whether he planned to pay the debt, or why the debt had oc­curred. The coun­cil said it had been work­ing with the owner for over a decade to re­coup the costs.

But prob­lems with rates pay­ments for the prop­er­ties stretched back to 1993.

The owner had made ir­reg­u­lar cash pay­ments over the years in an at­tempt to clear some of the debt.

The coun­cil put the mat­ter in the hands of its debt col­lec­tion agency in 2005.

A ver­bal agree­ment was made with the owner in March 2016, to clear the debt but there had been no pay­ments.

His last pay­ment was re­ceived in 2011. The home owner was not the only per­son with out­stand­ing rates in the district, how­ever the amount was among the high­est owed.

Coun­cil staff re­ported they had made ev­ery ef­fort to find a resol- ution.

A let­ter was sent en­cour­ag­ing the owner to set­tle the debt be­fore the com­mit­tee meet­ing on Septem­ber 27. But it was also ig­nored.

The owner would now be served with a No­tice of In­ten­tion to Sell from the high court to en­force re­pay­ment of the rates. If not paid within six months, the prop­er­ties could be sold.

Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil’s com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Eion Scott said the owner could pos­si­bly keep his home.

As one rate­able prop­erty is a va­cant sec­tion the owner could sell that to pay off the debt.

The owner of this prop­erty in Wa­haroa owes Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil $25,000 in rates.

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