Council to auction off 10 Gladstone homes

NOBODY enjoys paying rates and 10 property owners have gone a step further and pushed the council to sell their land in order to claim them.

The council issued 51 Sale of Land for Arrears notices on December 1, 2015, to property owners who had failed to pay their rates for three years.

Owners had until March 11 to pay their rates.

At the time of writing, 10 are still overdue and council is now preparing to organise an auction for the properties.

The council's chief financial officer Mark Holmes said the sales of arrears action will conclude with an auction in late April.

"Officers are still working with the remaining 10 properties that have outstanding rates," he said.

"Eight of the remaining 10 properties, have registered mortgage and it is likely that the mortgagee will protect their interests in the property." If banks have to take over the properties or the properties sold before hand, the rates will still be paid to the council.

Last year, a property at Baffle Creek was sold for $345,000 to reclaim unpaid rates from the 18 Sydney-based owners that paid $830,000 for it in 2004.

The Baffle Creek property was passed under at auction, but bought by two of the previous owners and another investor.

It was the only property to go to auction last year after 19 others paid their rates before they went to auction.

The council would not reveal which properties were still in the firing line to be auctioned and the value of the rates, due to privacy laws.

The owners of these properties still have until the auction to keep their properties, said Mr Holmes.

"The sale process can be stopped at any time prior to the auction commencing by payment of the outstanding rates and charges in full," he said. "The next stage in the process will be the issue of auction notices that must be issued not less than 14 days, but not more than 35 days prior to auction."

If the properties are sold at auction, the council will take what money is owed to them, also pay state government taxes and what money is left is given back to the owners.

Rates return

December 1 2015 - 51 properties with three years of outstanding rates given intention to sell notices

March 11 2016 - 10 properties left

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