What are rates?
Rates are a property tax based on the valuation of your home. The income from rates provides funding for services at both local (your council) and regional (NI Assembly) levels.
Domestic rates are a rate for households and all residential properties, with bills based on the capital value of your home as at 1 January 2005. Domestic rates must be paid on every residential property in Northern Ireland regardless of whether or not they are occupied, unless very specific exclusions apply - see Rating of empty homes - exclusions. A property that is furnished or used for storage purposes is considered occupied for rating purposes, even if no-one lives in it.
When are rate bills issued?
Rate bills are issued annually usually at the beginning of April each year, and are based on rates assessed from 1 April to 31 March. There are a number of ways you can pay your rate bill and you can choose to make the payment in full or to spread payments over a maximum of 10 months.
More information on domestic rating is available on the nidirect website