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HomeBuilder provides eligible owner occupiers with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home or buy an off-the-plan home/new home. A new home is one that has not previously been sold or occupied as a place of residence (e.g. a spec build) and where construction commenced on or after 4 June 2020.

About HomeBuilder

On 4 June 2020, the Australian Government announced HomeBuilder to provide eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home, substantially renovate an existing home or buy an off-the-plan home/new home.

While the eligible contract must be signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (inclusive), construction need not commence prior to 31 December 2020. However, it must commence within three months of the contract date and construction cannot have commenced before 4 June 2020.

Three month extension for construction commencement in Victoria

In light of the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne (effective from 2 August 2020) and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria (effective from 5 August 2020), the Commissioner of State Revenue will exercise his discretion under the National Partnership Agreement to provide a blanket extension of 3 months to the construction commencement requirement for the HomeBuilder Grant. This means that all applicants for the HomeBuilder Grant in Victoria have 6 months from the signing of the eligible HomeBuilder contract, to commence construction. The Commissioner does not have discretion to grant any extensions beyond this additional 3 month extension.

The Australian Government's HomeBuilder Grant is subject to the provisions of the National Partnership Agreement between the Victorian Government and the Australian Government.

The HomeBuilder Grant complements the existing First Home Owner Grant that is available in Victoria when you buy or build your first new home.

HomeBuilder applications

HomeBuilder Grant applications are to be lodged via the online portal. Applications must be received by no later than 31 December 2020.

Applicant(s) can lodge their application in a multi-step process with the initial lodgement being after an eligible HomeBuilder contract has been entered into. Once commencement of construction and the payment eligibility requirement milestones have been met, any additional supporting documentation should be lodged via the online portal.

We will advise you whether your application has been approved or declined. Generally this will be within 15 business days of a complete application being received.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible applicants

The HomeBuilder Grant is available to individual applicants and couples who are, or will be, registered as the owner on the certificate of title. Each applicant must be:

  • a natural person (not a company or trust),
  • aged 18 years or older at the date of the contract, and
  • an Australian citizen at the date of application.

When you must be registered on the certificate of title as the owner of the land or property depends on the type of contract you enter into:

  • For contracts to build, you must be registered on title as owner of the land by no later than the laying of foundations and the first progress payment is made.
  • For substantial renovations, you must be registered on the title as owner of the property at the time that you enter into the contract for renovation works.
  • For off-the-plan/new homes, you must be registered on the title as owner of the property when the building is completed and you are entitled to take possession of the home.

Applicant(s) must be below one of the following two income caps:

  • $125,000 per annum for an individual based on either your 2018-19 or 2019-20 taxable income, as shown on your notice of assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Office, or
  • $200,000 per annum for a couple based on either your combined 2018-19 or 2019-20 taxable income, as shown on your notices of assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Office.

A couple is considered as two people that are legally married, in a registered domestic relationship, or living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, excluding people related to each other, e.g. siblings.

Each applicant must not have previously received the HomeBuilder Grant for any property owned individually or jointly with another person in any Australian state or territory.

Each applicant must live in the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 6 months immediately on completion of construction, renovation or settlement.

Investment properties are excluded from the HomeBuilder program.

Eligible homes

The home must be:

  • located in Victoria,
  • fixed to your land,
  • suitable as a place of residence, and
  • owned, or will be owned, by you (both dwelling and land).

Eligible contracts

The HomeBuilder Grant is available for one of the following contracts signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020 (inclusive):

  • A comprehensive home building contract to build a new home as your principal place of residence where the property value (house and land) does not exceed $750,000 (inclusive of GST).
  • A contract with a registered builder to substantially renovate your principal place of residence where the renovation contract is between $150,000 and $750,000 (inclusive of GST), and where the value of your existing house and land does not exceed $1.5 million. If you own a property (house and land) and demolish the house to rebuild, or your home was destroyed during the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires, these will be treated as a substantial renovation, subject to the same values.
  • A contract to purchase an off-the-plan home/new home as your principal place of residence where the contract price does not exceed $750,000 (inclusive of GST) and construction had not commenced prior to 4 June 2020.

In all cases, construction cannot have commenced before 4 June 2020.

Construction must be undertaken by a registered or licensed building service contractor who is named as a builder on the building licence or permit. Whether the contract is with a licensed or registered builder or developer, they must have held their licence or registration prior to 4 June 2020. In all cases, a valid copy of the builder’s licence or registration needs to be provided to the applicant showing a licence or registration date prior to 4 June 2020, and will also need to be provided as part of the application’s supporting documentation

Owner-builders are not eligible for HomeBuilder. An owner-builder means the person who is the registered or licensed builder and who takes legal responsibility for domestic building work carried out on their own land/property. Owner-builders therefore do not enter into an eligible contract under HomeBuilder.

For contracts to purchase an off-the-plan home/new home, construction can have commenced prior to the date of the sales contract, however not before 4 June 2020. You must also be registered on the certificate of title as the owner of the property by no later than 31 October 2022.

In negotiating the contract, the parties must deal with each other at arm’s length. This means the contract must be made by two parties freely and independently of each other and without some special relationship, such as being a relative. The terms of the contract should be commercially reasonable, and the contract price should not be inflated or deflated compared to the fair market price.

If you have entered into a contract on or after 4 June 2020 that replaces a contract made prior to 4 June 2020 to build the same or substantially similar home, you may not be eligible to receive the HomeBuilder Grant.

It is a requirement of the HomeBuilder Grant that construction must commence within 3 months of the contract date. Where commencement is delayed due to unforeseen factors outside the control of the parties to the contract, a maximum extension of an additional 3 months may be provided.

When construction is considered to have commenced will depend on the type of contract that you enter into:

  • For new builds, commencement of construction means the commencement of excavation and site preparation works.
  • For a substantial renovation, commencement of construction is when the works under the renovation contract commence.
  • For an off-the-plan build, commencement of construction means the commencement of excavation and site preparation works.

Three month extension for construction commencement in Victoria

In light of the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne (effective from 2 August 2020) and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria (effective from 5 August 2020), the Commissioner of State Revenue will exercise his discretion under the National Partnership Agreement to provide a blanket extension of 3 months to the construction commencement requirement for the HomeBuilder Grant. This means that all applicants for the HomeBuilder Grant in Victoria have 6 months from the signing of the eligible HomeBuilder contract, to commence construction. The Commissioner does not have discretion to grant any extensions beyond this additional 3 month extension.

Eligible substantial renovations

For the purposes of HomeBuilder, substantial renovations can be either:

  • substantially altering the existing dwelling, or
  • demolishing your home and building a new home on the land.

To be considered substantial, the renovation does not need to involve the removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof or staircases. However, it should improve the accessibility, safety or liveability of the property.

Given these requirements, a substantial renovation does not generally include:

  • Stand-alone granny flats, swimming pools, tennis courts, and structures not connected to the building such as outdoor spas, saunas, sheds or stand-alone garages.
  • Renovations that are primarily cosmetic in purpose such as landscaping, painting or re-carpeting.

Bushfire affected properties

If your home was destroyed in the 2019-20 Victorian Bushfires, and you are rebuilding on your existing land, your application will be considered as a substantial renovation.

HomeBuilder payment

HomeBuilder will be paid once the State Revenue Office Victoria is satisfied that you meet all of the eligibility criteria. The timing of the payment of the Grant will depend on whether your application relates to:

  • A new build – the Grant will be paid after foundations have been laid and the first progress payment has been made to the builder.
  • A substantial renovation – the Grant will be paid after construction has commenced and evidence is submitted showing payments of at least $150,000 of the contract price have been made to the builder.
  • An off-the-plan home/new home contract – the Grant will be paid after evidence is submitted showing that the property has been registered in your name on the certificate of title. You must be registered on the certificate of title as the owner of the property by no later than 31 October 2022.

Homebuilder will be paid into your nominated account when all eligibility criteria have been met and all supporting documentation provided. This account must be an Australian cheque or savings account.

Residency requirement

To qualify for HomeBuilder, each applicant must:

  • Retain ownership of the property and occupy it as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six (6) months.
  • Commence the above period of occupation immediately upon completion of construction, renovation or settlement.

A principal place of residence is considered to be the home you primarily reside in.

Where an applicant was a member of the permanent forces of the Australian Defence Force and the applicant was enrolled on the Victorian electoral roll at the date of the eligible HomeBuilder contract, then the applicant is exempt from the residence requirement.

To receive the exemption, you must provide a document issued by the Australian Defence Force clearly showing your name and that you are a member of the permanent forces at the date of the eligible HomeBuilder contract.

An exemption will not be granted if the document is not provided.

What should I do if I cannot meet the above residency requirements?

You must notify the State Revenue Office Victoria and repay the HomeBuilder Grant within 14 days of the date you become aware you cannot meet the residency requirement.

The State Revenue Office may require that applicants provide information to verify that they have met the residence requirement.

Applicants should keep appropriate records that can demonstrate to us that the grant address was used as the principal place of residence.

If you have difficulties in meeting the residency requirement, please contact us to discuss your situation.

Supporting documentation

Table of supporting documents required by dwelling category
Dwelling category Eligibility conditions for HomeBuilder Supporting documentation
All
  • Australian citizen
  • 18 years or older
  • A natural person
  • Builder licensed or registered prior to 4 June 2020
  • A copy of your Australian birth certificate, Australian passport or Australian citizenship certificate.
  • A form of photo identification, such as an Australian driver licence or Victorian Proof of Age card (not needed if you have provided a copy of your Australian passport).
  • Evidence of a change of name (e.g. change of name certificate, statutory declaration) is required if the name on any of the documents presented is different to the name of the applicant.
  • A copy of the builder's licence or registration showing a licence or registration date prior to 4 June 2020.
All Income caps met:
  • below $125,000 for an individual, or
  • below $200,000 for a couple
  • Copy of either the 2018-19 or 2019-20 Notice of Assessment issued by the Australian Taxation Office for each applicant, or evidence of nil tax return or non-lodgement advice if not required to lodge a tax return. You should remove or block out your Tax File Number (TFN). 
New build
  • Property value (house and land) does not exceed $750,000
  • Copy of the certificate of title for the property.
  • Copy of the comprehensive home building contract signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.
  • Copy of the front and execution pages of the contract for sale of land if less than 12 months from date of your application. If more than 12 months, a copy of your most recent rates notice or valuation undertaken by a bank or licensed independent valuer to show the value of the land.
  • Evidence of construction commencement (e.g. a statement from your builder confirming the date that construction commenced).
  • Evidence showing that foundations have been laid and copies of both invoice/s an receipt/s showing that first progress payment has been made to the builder under the contract.
  • Evidence that the property will be your principal place of residence (e.g. evidence from your financial institution showing that the purpose of any loan relating to the property is for a principal residence, and not for investment purposes).
Substantial renovations
  • Building contract value is between $150,000 and $750,000, and
  • property value (house and land) pre-renovation does not exceed $1.5 million
  • Copy of the certificate of title for the property.
  • Copy of the building contract for substantial renovations signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.
  • Copy of your most recent rates notice or valuation from bank or licensed independent valuer to show the value of the property (house and land) within the three months before commencement of renovation.
  • Evidence of construction commencement, including first invoice issued for work carried out under the renovation contract and receipt/s to show that $150,000 has been paid to the builder.
Off-the-plan/new homes
  • Property value does not exceed $750,000
  • Copy of the certificate of title for the property.
  • Copy of the front and execution pages of the sales contract for the purchase of an off-the-plan home/new home signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020.
  • Evidence of construction commencement (e.g. statement from the builder/developer confirming the date construction commenced).
  • Evidence that the property will be your principal place of residence (e.g. evidence from your financial institution showing that the purpose of any loan relating to the property is for a principal residence, and not for investment purposes).

How do I apply?

You can apply via our online application portal, where you can also upload your supporting documentation.

Lodge your application

What can I do if my application is not approved?

You can lodge an objection if your HomeBuilder Grant application is declined and you do not agree with the decision of the Commissioner.

Objections must be lodged within 60 days of the date of the letter advising you of the decision and include the reasons why you believe the decision is incorrect. Objections cannot be made on the grounds of perceived unfairness, but should focus on the facts as to why you consider the decision is wrong having regard to the HomeBuilder eligibility criteria.

Objections should be emailed to review@sro.vic.gov.au.

Where can I find more information?

The Australian Government has a fact sheet and frequently asked questions on HomeBuilder on its website.

You can contact us on 13 21 61 (8:30am to 5pm (EST), Monday to Friday).

HomeBuilder compliance

The State Revenue Office Victoria audits all HomeBuilder applications for compliance with the eligibility and residency criteria. Should we contact you during an audit, it is a condition of receiving HomeBuilder that you must provide all information requested.

You must advise us within 14 days if you cease to use the property as your principal place of residence.

You may be required to repay HomeBuilder if:

  • You do not provide all the information requested by us during an investigation.
  • You provide false or misleading information to us.
  • We find you should not have received the HomeBuilder or you did not meet the principal place of residence requirement.

Definitions

Applicant(s)

Each person whose name is or will be on the certificate of title must be an applicant for the grant.

The HomeBuilder Grant is only available to individual applicants and couples. If you are the only person listed on the certificate of title as the owner of the property, you must apply as an individual applicant. If there is more than one person listed on the certificate of title, they must apply jointly as a couple, provided they meet the definition of a couple in relevant state or territory.

Arm’s length

This means the contract must be made by two parties acting freely and independently of each other, and without offering favour as a result of some special relationship, such as being related to one another. The terms of the contract should be commercially reasonable, and the contract price should not be inflated compared to the fair market price.

Australian citizen

All applicant(s) must be Australian citizens.

Commencement of construction

  • In relation to a new home, commencement of construction means the commencement of excavation and site preparation works.
  • In relation to a substantial renovation, commencement of construction is when works under the renovation contract commence.
  • In relation to an off the plan purchase, commencement of construction means the commencement of excavation and site preparation works.

Couple

Two people that are legally married, in a registered domestic relationship, or living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis, excluding people related to each other, i.e. siblings.

Contract to build

A comprehensive building contract where a builder agrees to build a home, from commencement to completion of construction so that it is ready for occupation.

Income cap

$125,000 per annum for an individual or $200,000 per annum for a couple based on either the 2018-19 or 2019-20 taxable income.

New home

A contract for the purchase of a home that has not previously been sold or occupied as a place of residence and where construction commenced on or after 4 June 2020.

Off-the-plan

A contract for the purchase of a home on a proposed lot in an unregistered plan of a subdivision of land, i.e. the purchase of a unit before it is built or before the strata plan is registered, and where construction commenced on or after 4 June 2020.

Owner

The person or person(s) listed on the certificate of title of the freehold property.

Partner

A person is a partner of another if they are in a registered domestic relationship or living as a couple on a genuine domestic basis.

Principal place of residence

The home you primarily reside in.

Spouse

A person is a spouse of another if they are legally married to each other.

Substantial Renovation

The renovation substantially alters the existing dwelling and improves the accessibility or safety or liveability of the property. If you own a property (house and land) and demolish the house down to rebuild this will be counted as a substantial renovation.

Examples of renovation work that does not qualify includes, standalone granny flats, swimming pools, tennis courts, and structures that are not connected to the property (i.e. outdoor spas, saunas, sheds or standalone garages).

Value

In relation to a new build, off the plan home/new home the value of the property (i.e. house and land) cannot exceed $750,000 (inclusive of GST). In relation to a substantial renovation the value of the home (i.e. house and land) prior to renovation cannot exceed $1.5 million.

Last modified: 10 August 2020
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