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 FHOG, an applicant must comply with certain eligibility criteria and enter into and complete an eligible transaction.
The eligibility criteria include the requirements that the applicant is a natural person, at least 18 years of age, an Australian citizen or permanent resident, has not received an earlier grant, does not have a prior relevant interest in residential property and meets the residence requirement.
There are some common errors and misunderstandings that first-home owners make about the FHOG or their FHOG application. These include that they:
- Fail to make the property the applicant's principal place of residence (e.g. lack of intention to reside there permanently),
- Fail to disclose that the property is an investment property and is to be leased,
- Fail to advise when circumstances have changed and the applicant cannot meet the residence requirement timeframes,
- Misunderstand 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,
- that renovating the FHOG property while using another residence to cook, shower, sleep, et cetera, complies with the requirements, and
- that living in the FHOG property for a period of less than 12 months is acceptable
- Fail to disclose a domestic partner/spouse,
- Fail to disclose that they, or their domestic partner/spouse, received a prior grant or had a prior relevant interest in residential property,
- Fail to disclose previous names, including previous married name(s), and
- Purchase the FHOG property in a child's name, with the consideration for the property paid by parents, and
- Misunderstand that, from 1 July 2013, the FHOG can only be paid for a new home. This 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.