Gerard Rebeiro was shocked when in 2013, he received a rates bill of more than $2200 for his Hastings Ave, Boronia home after Knox Council valued his property at more than $920,000.
His rates bill for the previous year was only about $1200.
Mr Rebeiro enlisted the help of Boronia Harcourts real estate principal John Garnett, who valued his home at about $450,000.
Mr Rebeiro then presented his case to Knox Council, and after a lengthy battle, the authority dropped the value down to $675,000.
Mr Rebeiro challenged them again, and in June last year the council came back with a value of $625,000, which Mr Rebeiro said he was told “was a goodwill gesture”.
But he still believed the house was overvalued, and on advice from Mr Garnett, took the case to VCAT last month.
In the week of the case, Knox Council once again offered to drop the value figure to $540,000 – and again, the duo rejected it.
On Tuesday, February 25 – the night before the case was due to go to VCAT – Knox Council agreed to further drop the value of his Boronia home to $500,000 if the case did not go to the tribunal.
Mr Garnett said he had seen many cases where Knox Council had valued residents’ properties higher than their worth.
“I have had at least three or four cases in the past where I have had to help them by writing appraisal letters to take down to council when they’ve been way overcharged in their rates,” Mr Garnett said.
Knox Council director corporate development Mark Dupe said council could not comment on individual cases, but emphasised ratepayers had the right to object to their home valuations and that council processed about 200 objections a year.
“Many factors can influence changes in valuation, such as the current property market and how it changes over time,” Mr Dupe said.
He said development regulations could also have an influence.
INCREDIBLE SHRINKING HOUSE VALUE
Mr Rebeiro’s house:
n Valued at $921,000
n Knox Council dropped it to $675,000
n Dropped it again to $625,000
n Dropped once again to $540,000
n Settled out of court at $500,000
heraldsun.com.au 11 Mar 2014
Knox City Council: ABN 24 477 480 661