When a property is changing ownership, the transferring attorney will need to apply to the council (local authority) for a rates clearance certificate. The clearance figure is normally six months in advance on the sellers account. Only once the amount is paid in full will the council give the transferring attorney the clearance certificate.
Without the clearance certificate, the transfer will be rejected by the Registrar of Deeds, and this will prolong the change of ownership. After registration, the council will refund the seller the amount paid in advance. The transferring attorney will notify the council of the registration. However, it is not their responsibility to get the refund back it is ultimately the responsibility of the seller. Due to workloads at the council it takes several months to obtain the refund.
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