Rates and Charges Hardship Application Waiver of Rates and Charges

Introduction

If you own land in the City of Greater Dandenong you will be required to pay council rates. However, if you would suffer severe financial hardship as a result of paying council rates you may apply for relief. Relief takes the form of waiving some component of the outstanding council rates and charges. Details of this are provided for in council’s Rates and Charges Hardship Policy which can be viewed on council’s website www.greaterdandenong.com.

Cases of Hardship

You may apply for relief from some Council rates on the basis that the payment of the full amount for which you are liable would result in severe hardship. The liability to pay council rates does not in itself constitute severe hardship. You must be in detrimental circumstances (financial, personal or otherwise) so that further hardship would be incurred if payment of the council rates were enforced.

What factors are considered when determining severe hardship

  • There are some factors the council will consider when deciding whether to grant relief from council rates and charges. Will the payment of council rates leave you unable to provide your immediate family with the necessities of food, shelter, clothing, medical expenses and other basic requirements? (The total assets and income of your family may be taken into account in cases of hardship).
  • Could the council rates be paid by re-arranging finances, selling or drawing on non-essential assets? Relief is generally not provided when you have access to savings, other monetary investments or other income.
  • Is the severe hardship of a short-term nature? If so, relief may be given in the form of a deferment or arrangement plan. 
  • Has the severe hardship been clearly demonstrated to be of a longer-term nature?
  • Could you use equity in property or other assets as collateral for a loan to finance the payment of the council rates, without causing substantial erosion of that equity?

How do I apply for rates waiver

An application must be made within six months of the date of the service of the rate assessment and must specify details of the severe hardship that would be suffered as a consequence of the immediate payment of the full amount of the rates.

In general, rate relief will be provided only when council is satisfied that severe financial hardship has been clearly demonstrated and the other forms of council rate relief (for example, payment deferred by an extension of time or an instalment plan) are not considered appropriate.  A rates waiver may also be provided on compassionate grounds.

Note: Where an application for such relief is unsuccessful, interest may be charged from the due date of the rate assessment notice.