The Council's rates records must show the same ownership details as the property's Certificate of Title. If you're a ratepayer, you need to notify us if your details change.

Update your property ownership details

This is so we can ensure rates demands are sent to the correct person responsible for rates payments.

Please note:

  • We can only add an additional person to our rates records (such as a de facto partner or similar) if they are also listed as an owner on the Certificate of Title - if you want to do this, you will need a solicitor to formally change the details on the Certificate of Title and send us a Change of Ownership form.
  • Some changes may require us to sight documents (e.g. your Marriage Certificate, to document a change of name).

If your name changes

The table below shows what needs to happen if your name changes.

Reason for name change Action you need to take

If the person is already on the rates record under a maiden name, then we need to see a copy of the Marriage Certificate.

If they are not already on the title then a Change of Ownership is required.

Deed poll A Change of Ownership form will need to be forwarded to the rates department from your solicitor. The Certificate of Title would also need to be changed.
Separation (going back to maiden name) In the event of a relationship split the rates can only be changed once the matrimonial / relationship settlement is complete. We would suggest you contact the Solicitor handling the settlement who can forward notification of the transaction to the Council, i.e. change of ownership, or a copy of the amended Certificate of Title.

If someone else should be paying rates

There are a number of reasons why we should change who is responsible for rates payments. The table below shows what needs to happen in these cases:

Reason for person responsible for rates changing Action you need to take
Ownership of property changes due to sale/purchase

When a property changes ownership it is the responsibility of the vendor's (seller's) solicitor who handled the settlement to ensure that the 'Change of Ownership or Occupancy' form is completed and forwarded to the Council within one month of the sale. 

From 1 May 2017 The Council only accept Changes of Ownership or Occupancy from solicitors who have submitted this though QV SalesDirect(external link).

Transfer into the name of an executor and or trustees in  the event of the death of an owner or for any other reason

The solicitor handling the estate will forward notification of change of ownership depending on what happens to the property.

If the property has a rate paying tenant

The legislation provides for limited circumstances where a tenant of the whole of the property may become the named ratepayer. The lease needs to be registered on the Certificate of Title and for longer than a period of ten years. The current ratepayer is required to provide relevant documentation or a statuary declaration before the tenant can be the ratepayer. Please discuss this with your solicitor.

 Property ownership details

The Local Government (Rating) Act 2002 states that the owner of a property will be the ratepayer, except in very limited circumstances for some tenants. The Council is required to have the correct name of the ratepayer in our records.

Property-owners' names and postal addresses are public information and we must provide them on request except where we believe that they are going to be used for bulk data collection purposes. However, you have the right to have your name and postal address withheld - please put your request in writing and send to us at PO Box 73015 Christchurch.

If a name is spelt incorrectly on your rates instalment notice, please call the Council and we will check that this has been entered correctly from the Notice of Sale. If the information from the Notice of Sale is incorrect, a correct copy would be required from the Solicitor. The Certificate of Title shows the correct ownership of a property and can be obtained from Land Information New Zealand

The Certificate of Title shows the correct ownership of a property and can be obtained either by searching the LINZ website(external link) or by phoning 0800 665 463 (please note LINZ cannot give out owner details over the phone). There is a charge to search the title.