Ask to defer or waive your rate debt
Some councils may allow you to defer your rate payments, or even have the rates waived. Your council should have information about whether this is an option. (See 'Know Your Rights' below.)
As an alternative, your council may ask to put a caveat on your property. A caveat is a listing on the title to your property indicating that the council has an interest in your land. You would not be able to sell your property without negotiating the removal of the caveat (by paying the council). Don't agree to this without getting legal advice.