THE Fraser Coast Regional Council is set to auction off 74 homes to recover more than $887,000 in outstanding rates.
But Bill Towers says his home should not be one of them after he paid off more than $10,000 in rates last week.
The Granville man was left upset and embarrassed after his home was included among the list of homes and properties to be auctioned, which was made public by the council this week.
Bill said he had been in contact with the council last week and the amount had been paid in full.
For others, the struggle to pay off the rates debt before the auction on March 16 continues.
A 77-YEAR-OLD Torquay man, who asked not to be named, said his home had been on the market for three weeks and he was in a race to sell his home for an appropriate price before it went up for auction at a reserve determined by the council.
“I don’t like the way the council goes about it – selling a person’s home from under them,” the man said.He said that with a bit of patience, the council would have the money owed to them.”I want to sell it in my time for my price,” he said.
“We are trying to do the right thing.”
Severe health problems played a role in both Bill and the elderly Torquay man falling behind in their rates, with both saying they wished council had shown more compassion for their circumstances.
But the council said putting a house up for auction was one of the final steps in its recovery process in situations where rates remained unpaid for three years or more.
“If owners do not wish to enter into a payment plan to substantially reduce the amount outstanding within a reasonable period, when the rates exceed three years overdue, the property owners are advised that the property would be recommended for sale at a public auction,” council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond said.
Property owners have until the sale starts to remove the property from the auction list by payment of the full amount.
“Under the Local Government Act, council can take action to recover unpaid rates if the rates are overdue for three years or greater,” she said.
“Once the land is sold, council only retains the value of the outstanding rates and charges with the balance provided to the mortgage holder or property owner.”
Last year 82 properties were set to be placed up for auction to reclaim $1.4 million in outstanding rates.
But of these, fewer than 10 were auctioned off on the day.