By Paula Doran
More than 80 properties across Broken Hill are to be offered for auction if their owners do not step forward and pay outstanding Council rates.
Broken Hill City Council listed the properties in Saturday’s Barrier Truth, after extensive lengths had been taken to recover unpaid rates.
The properties are a mix of housing, vacant land, small strips of land, and right of ways, and for those seeking to snap up land or properties the upcoming auction could be a boon.
Given the much publicised shortage of housing stock in the region the auction would help take the pressure off, at least for a while.
A spokesperson for Council, said the land, properties and rights of way would be offered for auction on February 15 and 16 at the Civic Centre, unless all outstanding fees are paid before then.
The Council can take this action thanks to Section 713 of the Local Government Act, which states that in default of payment of rates, the land can be sold.
Sale of land for unpaid rates is considered a ‘last resort’ for Council, though they have carried out the same process before, back in 2015/16.
“Property owners can make payment or enter into a suitable payment arrangement with Council prior to the auction to have their property removed from the list,” the spokesperson said.
“Council has a Hardship Policy that can be utilised by residents who are struggling to pay their rates,” they said.
Of the 83 blocks, Council said it had initiated and exhausted all debt recovery activities as required by the Council’s Debt Recovery Policy, and all of the property rates had been outstanding for over five years.