Penalty interest on rates after settlement

In todays mail I received a letter from our IP's local council and a penalty notice for interest for late payment of rates.

The situation is:

Vendor didn't pay rates quarterly, paid annually. Annual payment date Feb 15th.
Settlement was Feb 12th. Cheque for full amount provided apart of settlement adjustments.
Settlement went through without any dramas, and cheques were exchanged.

Whilst I appreciate that "we" owned the property on the date that the rates were due, is the onus on "us" to make sure the vendor's solicitor presents them in time?

For the sake of $66 should we just suck it up, or should we call our solicitor and take it further? Looking forward to your comments.

Cheers
Buddybee
 
Yeah, on $500K $66 is chump change....

Since my post I've rung council and explained about settlement occuring on the working day prior and our obligation to provide the cheque to the Vendor.

Turns out Vendor's solicitor rang Council the day prior to settlement and told them the cheque wouldn't be presented in time and council told them penalty interest would kick in. Unfortunately this info never made it down the line. Council has confirmed that they have recorded this information on the rates file.

I've now written a letter to Council explaining what happened, and that we are good local citizens who've always paid our PPOR rates in full and on time hoping that the decision will be overturned. Who know's for a 10 minute letter and a stamp we might get lucky. If not it will be chalked up as experience.

I will be speaking to my solicitor so that she knows the issue and in future matters she can make better decisions for her clients. ie insisting on keeping the rates cheque or insisting that the vendor pay rates in advance and that they are adjusted at settlement.

Cheers
Buddybee
 
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