Categorisation and rates certificates

Categorisation and rates certificates

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Categories and status checks

Find out here how to apply to have your property re-categorised, find out about mixed development land, postponed rates and combining the ‘lots’ on your rates notice.

If you need to check the rates status of a property, find out how to apply for a Section 603 Certificate.

Rates categories

Each parcel of land within the local area is declared residential or business, and rates are charged according to these categories.

Your rates notice will inform you of the category in which your land falls. Should you need to have a land category and sub-category reviewed, you can apply by downloading, completing and lodging a re-categorisation form, available below.

The ratepayer must notify the City within 30 days when a land category changes from one category to another. If you disagree with the category (or the date it comes into effect) after the review you can appeal to the Land and Environment Court within 30 days.

It should be noted that a particular rating category doesn’t necessarily reflect the current zoning of the land.

Mixed development land

A mixed development property is charged at a combination of residential and business rates. Such properties could include a corner shop, doctor’s surgery or solicitor’s office with a residence attached. The residence should have its own entrance, kitchen and bathroom (or facilities for cooking and bathing). Premises with a common entrance and shared facilities usually aren't considered mixed developments.

Residential and business rates are charged according to the proportion of land used for each purpose.

Generally, the dual charges provide some financial relief to the property owner.

Mixed developments are determined and approved by Land and Property Information NSW.

Postponed rates

A ratepayer can apply for a postponement of part of the rates on land which is used only as the site of a house if it is valued for another purpose (for example, business use or the construction of residential apartments).

Rates attributed to the increased value are postponed for 5 years and then 'written off', together with any accrued interest on those rates.

Applications for postponement are referred to Land and Property Information NSW, which calculates what portion of the land is affected.

The postponement ceases if the land use changes. If only part of the land use changes, a redetermination must be made.

If you think you may be eligible, call the City of Sydney on 02 9265 9333 to discuss the criteria and we will apply to Land and Property Information NSW on your behalf.

Aggregation of land parcels

Owners of an apartment, unit or flat may receive a rates notice for each ‘lot’ on their property – such as the residence itself and any associated car spaces or storage areas. You can apply to have such lots aggregated (combined) so that your rates charges are calculated as one land value instead. This eliminates any of the minimum rate charges you may be paying for each lot, thus reducing the total rates bill.

We can only aggregate lots if:

  • the ownership of each lot is exactly the same for each lot as per the title
  • all lots are within the same strata plan/scheme (or it is noted on the strata plan that the lots are used in conjunction).
  • none of the lots are moorings/marina berths.

Residential car spaces and storage lots

The City will aggregate 3 car spaces (maximum) and all storage lots to a (residential) strata unit if they are:

  • used in conjunction with the unit
  • used by the occupier of the unit
  • not leased out for private purpose.

Business car space and storage lot

The City will aggregate 1 car space only and 1 storage lot only to a business lot if they are:

  • used in conjunction with the lot
  • used by the occupier of the lot
  • not leased out for private purpose.

You can apply to have multiple lots aggregated by downloading and completing the form below.

Approved aggregations will come into effect from the start of the next quarter following receipt of the application.

Section 603 certificates – Rates certificates

Solicitors, real estate agents and members of the public who are buying a property can apply for a Section 603 certificate to check the rates status of a residential or business address.

A statutory fee of $85 is charged for each Section 603 certificate. GST is exempt.

The usual processing time for a Section 603 certificate is between 1-2 business days from the date of receipt and payment.

Order your certificate online or through the mail or over the counter at one of our customer service centres.

Land exempt from rates

Certain land, such as land belonging to churches, hospitals and schools, is exempt from rates charges.

Land owned and used by public charities may also be exempt.

Need more information?

For more information on the topics above, please contact the City on 02 9265 9333

Last updated: Wednesday, 1 July 2020