Rates postponement is intended to help those on a fixed income, to continue living in their homes when they do not have the financial capacity to pay their rates, or where payment would create a financial hardship.
On Thursday 2 April, the Council is considering measures to support Christchurch businesses and property owners who are financially struggling as a result of the COVID-19 level 4 lockdown. This includes a proposal to offer ratepayers who will receive a rates bill in coming weeks an extra six months to pay, and offering all Council commercial tenants a three-month rent holiday. You can read the Newsline article, and find a link to the report here.
Unite Against Covid-19, visit covid19.govt.nz
It is important to understand that postponement is effectively a loan from Council to you, and over time the amount lent (including compounding annual fees) may significantly reduce your equity in the property.
It is recommended you visit an independent financial adviser prior to applying and provide evidence of the visit. There are financial advisers in Christchurch who don’t charge for this service.
Ratepayers aged 65 or over will automatically qualify, provided that the property is their primary place of residence. Younger applicants will need to include sufficient information to demonstrate financial hardship, such as a Community Services card or financial accounts.
Up to 100% of all rates charges may be postponed, including arrears owing from previous financial years.
Download and complete a rates postponement application form. Then email or post it to the address shown on the form.
When completing your application form, please ensure that:
If your postponement is approved:
All postponed amounts, including the added annual fees, will become payable when the property is sold or no longer used as the applicant's primary place of residence (or, for younger applicants, if they regain the financial ability to pay).