Frequently Asked Questions


Have you recently purchased a property in the Town of Cambridge?

If you have recently purchased a property in the Town here is information about the settlement process in relation to your rates.

  • Within 21 days of the property selling, the owner or settlement agent must advise the Town in writing.
  • Usually the settlement agent (for the purchaser) will have forwarded a "Change of Ownership" form prior to the 21 days, which advises the Town the property has been sold. This form includes the vendor's name, the purchaser's name and address and the change of ownership date.
  • The Town sends a rates statement to the requesting settlement agents advising of the rates raised on the property, and any outstanding balance.
  • Settlement agents usually deal with all financial transactions, including the payment of council rates, water rates, etc.
  • Funds from both the vendor and purchaser are usually held at settlement for payment of these accounts.
  • The settlement agent will calculate, prior to settlement (on a daily basis), the portion of rates owed by both the vendor and the purchaser.


How are my rates calculated?

  • Rates are calculated by multiplying the Gross Rental Value (GRV) or Unimproved Value (UV) by the rate in the dollar.


What is GRV?

  • The Gross Rental Value (GRV) is an annual rental value determined by the Valuer General.   It is calculated by analysing actual rental information assembled from statistics obtained from property managers, owners and other sources. This means that properties are rated on their income earning potential rather than their resale value.
  • The Valuer General revalues all properties within the metropolitan area once every three years.
  • Should any changes be made to the property at any stage the Valuer General may revalue the property as an interim value outside of the three year revaluation.
  • For vacant land, where no rental value can be determined, GRV is calculated on the basis of 5 per cent of its capital (or resale value).

        What factors affect my GRV?

  • Many variables affect the GRV of a property such as location, the number of bedrooms and bathroom a property has, if it has ocean views, or a pool and the age of the house.


What is UV?

  • Unimproved Value applies to properties within the Endowment Lands Area.

        What can I do if I disagree with the GRV or UV for my property?

  • Under the Valuation of Land Act you have the right to object to the value that is used to determine your rates and taxes.
  • Objections must be lodged within 60 days of the issue of your rate notice.
  • Information on the objection process is available by contacting Landgate on 9429 8400 or by visiting their website at 
  • Rates must be paid as assessed irrespective of whether you have lodged an objection. If the valuation is amended then a refund will be issued.


What is a minimum rate or payment?

  • Local governments are able to set a minimum amount payable for properties in its district, and most, including the Town apply a minimum rate.
  • If the calculation of GRV x rate in dollar is less than the minimum rate, then the minimum rate will be applied.
  • The minimum rate payment for 2016/2017 is $962.


How is the instalment charge calculated?

  • The Town offers payments by instalments, which attracts a fee called an instalment charge.
  • The instalment charge is calculated in two parts.
  • The first is an administration charge of $8.00 per instalment notice issued and the second is instalment interest of 5.5 per cent per annum calculated on the instalment amount due once the first instalment is paid.


Under what authority does the Town charge late payment interest?

  • The Local Government Financial Management Regulations 1996 allows the Town to charge penalty interest.
  • The Town charges penalty interest (currently 11% per annum) on outstanding rates not being paid in instalments.


What if I cannot pay my rates either in full or according to the instalment program offered?

  • The Town offers special payment arrangements (by direct debit from a bank account either fortnightly or monthly) for those customers who are unable to pay in full or according to the instalment plan.
  • An administration fee of $35 is charged on all payment arrangements, and penalty interest of 11% per cent per annum will also apply on the outstanding balance until the account is cleared.


What is a waste service fee and why do I pay it?

  • This is the service fee for the collection of your rubbish bins.  It includes the green waste bin, if you have opted for this service.
  • Extra recycling bins, above two services, will be charge a waste service fee.
  • An additional rubbish bin is available for - Residential - $500 per annum (extra 240L general rubbish
  • All properties utilising the waste collection service are required to pay this fee to cover the costs of the waste collection contractor.
  • Non-rateable properties are also required to pay for recycling services. 


What is the pool inspection fee and why do I pay it?

  • State legislation requires private swimming pool enclosures to be inspected once every four years.
  • The Town has an ongoing inspection and advisory program to ensure all pool security complies with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1995.
  • It is your responsibility to advise the Town if the pool has been removed from your property.


What happens to my rates if I build a new house, an addition or a pool?

  • When there are changes to your property that affect its valuation, the Town receives advice of the new valuation (and an effective date for the new valuation) from the Valuer General. An amended rate notice, called an interim rate notice, is then issued.
  • Examples of where your valuation would be amended include:
    • a new building has been built;
    • a pool has been installed;
    • a new room has been added; or
    • a property has been demolished.
  • The Town usually receives the interim valuations from the Valuer General within 1-2 months of the completion of the addition. Delays longer than this may occur due to Landgate work volume.


How do I change my address details?

  • Property owners have an obligation to ensure the Town has the correct address for the service of rates notices.
  • Change of address details can be sent to the Town:

Contact us for further information or enquiries. 

Last Updated: 03/08/2016