Common errors for first-home owners
The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) was introduced to help eligible first-home owners buy their first residential home. In order to qualify for the grant, you must comply with eligibility criteria and complete an eligible transaction.
The eligibility criteria include the requirements that:
- you are a natural person (that is, not a company or trust),
- you are at least 18 years of age,
- you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident,
- you or your spouse/partner have not received an earlier grant,
- you or your spouse/partner do not have a prior relevant interest in residential property, and
- you meet the residence requirement.
Some common errors and misunderstandings that first-home owners make about the First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) include:
- Failing to reside in the property and make it their principal place of residence (that is, occupying the property as their home permanently).
- Failing to disclose that the property is an investment property that is to be leased.
- Failing to tell us when their circumstances have changed and they cannot meet the residence requirement timeframes.
- Misunderstanding the residency requirements, for example believing that:
- As long as the FHOG property is left vacant for 12 months and not leased, the residency requirement is met.
- Renovating the FHOG property while using another residence to, for example, cook, shower and sleep, complies with the requirements.
- Living in the FHOG property for a period less than 12 months is acceptable.
- Failing to disclose a domestic partner or spouse.
- Failing to disclose that they, or their domestic partner or spouse, received a prior grant or had a prior relevant interest in residential property.
- Failing to disclose previous names, including previous married names.
- Misunderstanding that from 1 July 2013, the FHOG can only be paid for a new home, that is a property that has been built or substantially renovated in the last five years and is being sold for the first time as residential premises.