Rates are a charge on a property, not a property owner. That means that any outstanding rates on a property at the time of purchase become the responsibility of the new owner.
When a property is sold, the vendor's solicitor will usually identify any outstanding rates and negotiate the sale accordingly. But potential buyers should always ask if there are any rates due.
If you receive an invoice for overdue rates from a previous owner, contact the solicitor who represented you in the purchase to resolve the matter with the previous owners. In the meantime, it is in your best interest to settle the account immediately to avoid further penalties.
If you receive an assessment in your name after you've sold the property it may mean the Council has not received notification. Please advise your solicitor to issue the appropriate notification as soon as possible and return the assessment to the Council.
If you have been paying your rates by direct debit the transfer will be cancelled automatically when the Council receives a notification.