Change of ownership

When buying or selling a home, it's your responsibility to know what rates you owe.

Rates are a charge on a property, not a property owner.  That means that any outstanding rates on a property at the time of sale become the responsibility of the new owner.  Normally, the solicitors acting for the vendor(s) and purchaser(s) will decide which rates instalment to clear as part of settlement. The solicitors will then do an apportionment of the rates between the buyer and the seller.  They will give you this information at the time of settlement.


  •  If you receive an assessment in your name after you have sold the property, it may be that settlement was after the invoice was generated or that Council has not yet been notified of the sale by the solicitors.
  • Advise Council of your change of postal address if you are moving out of the area but own another property in Upper Hutt, or if you own another property in Upper Hutt under a company name or a different name (maiden name for example). If you are buying another house in Upper Hutt you will not need to do this as we will be notified of the new postal by the solicitors.
  • Cancel your direct debit by contacting the Rates Department


  •  You should always ask your solicitor prior to settlement if there are any rates due and if so will they be cleared at settlement.
  • You should always ask your solicitor if there is a Warm Wellington insulation loan on the property, and if so, will it be cleared at settlement.
  • If you receive an invoice for overdue rates from a previous owner, contact the solicitor who acted on your behalf to resolve the matter with the previous owners.  In the meantime, it would be in your best interest to settle the account immediately to avoid further penalties.
  • You can check the annual rates, the property reference numbers and the rateable value for your new property by using the property search on our website.
  • If you want to set up a Direct Debit for payment, you can do that on our Payments page.   If you had a Direct Debit in place for a property you previously owned in Upper Hutt, that agreement is for that property only and will not be transferred to the new property automatically.  You will either need to contact the Rates Department to have it transferred to your new property or complete a new authority.
  • If you want to receive your rates invoices and correspondence by email instead of by post, you can do that by completing the form on our Receive your rates by email page or by emailing the rates team.