First Home Owner's Grant

First Home Owner's Grant
The First Home Owner Grant (the Grant) scheme was established to encourage and assist home ownership and to offset the effect of the GST on home ownership.
The Grant is not means-tested nor is it restricted by the price of the property for contracts entered into prior to 1 January 2010.
For contracts entered into on or after 1 January 2010, the Grant will only be payable where the price of the property or construction of the home does not exceed $750,000. An exception to this requirement is where the contract relates to a home that is on, or to be built on, primary production land.

The SRO administers the Grant with the help of a number of banks and lending institutions that are approved agents. For contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2013, eligibility for the Grant will be limited to buyers of new homes.

How much is the grant?
For contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2013 to build or purchase a new home, a payment of up to $10,000 is available for eligible first home buyers.

For contracts entered into prior to 1 July 2013, a payment of up to $7000 is available for eligible first home buyers.

When does the grant end?
The scheme is on-going with no end date yet specified.

Are you eligible to receive the grant?
In order to receive the Grant you must satisfy various eligibility requirements. Furthermore, only certain types of transactions are eligible to receive the grant.

Which homes qualify?
To qualify, the home must be used as a place of residence. Furthermore, the home must be, in the Commissioner's opinion, suitable for use as a place of residence.

This includes:
• Houses
• Flats
• Units
• Townhouses or apartments located anywhere in Victoria, and
• Moveable homes relocated onto land owned by the applicant.

What if the home is not in Victoria?
Each State and Territory in Australia has its own grant scheme. If you are purchasing or building your first home outside Victoria, please enquire at the Revenue Office of the State or Territory where the home is located.

Who should be the applicant?
All persons who are or will be owners of the home being purchased or built are required to be applicants. An owner of a home is a person who holds or will hold a relevant interest in the land on which the home is situated or being built.
You will hold a relevant interest in a property if you are registered on title as the owner or hold an interest as purchaser under a terms contract. A 'relevant interest' does not include the interest of either a trustee or a beneficiary under a trust (apart from a beneficiary under a legal disability).

Do I have to provide the details of my spouse or partner in the application?
A person is a spouse of another if they are legally married to each other. A person is a partner of another if they are in a domestic relationship regardless of gender.
Whether or not your spouse/partner is an applicant, his or her details must be included on the application form and considered when answering the eligibility questions.

How and where do you apply for the grant?
The completed application form and supporting documents should be lodged with an approved agent at the time of applying for finance or with us after settlement or completion of construction.

What supporting evidence is required?
Please check what supporting evidence is required before you lodge your application.

When will the grant be paid?
Payment of the grant is subject to the written approval being made by the Commissioner.
The date the grant is paid depends on whether you are building or buying. It also depends on whether you are applying through an approved agent or the SRO.
Note: Your application will be returned to you if not fully completed and the required supporting evidence is not attached.

This table sets out when the grant is to be paid.

Can a decision be appealed?
If you are dissatisfied with the Commissioner's decision on your application, you may lodge a written objection with the Commissioner. Your objection must be lodged with the Commissioner within 60 days of the date of the notice advising that your application has been denied. Your objection must state fully and in detail, the grounds of your objection.
If your objection is disallowed by the Commissioner, you may, within 60 days, request that the matter be referred to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

If applicants receive the grant when they are not entitled, or do not comply with the residency requirement, penalties and interest may be imposed.
The amount of any penalty which may apply is dependant on the circumstances of each case and is in addition to having to repay the grant. In some circumstances the penalty applied is equal to the amount of the grant received.
The SRO conducts regular investigations to ensure compliance.

Making a false or misleading statement
It is an offence for a person to make a false or misleading statement in or in connection with an application for a grant. If it is determined that a person has made such a statement, then they may be prosecuted. All applications undergo a rigorous review where applicants are checked for former home ownership in Victoria and interstate. Other checks into spouse/partner status, council records, title details and finance particulars are undertaken on a routine basis.

Confidentiality and Privacy
All information provided to the SRO is subject to the SRO Privacy Statement.
Relevant Duty Exemptions and Concessions

In addition to the grant you may also be entitled to:
• First home owner with family exemption or concession
• Pensioner exemption or concession
• Duty concession for Principal Place of Residence 
(only available for contracts entered into on or after 1 January 2007)

Useful Resources

(Source reference State Revenue Office of Victoria Website)
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