• Residency Requirements

     

     

    Moving in

    First home owners are required to start living in their home within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction.

    • For the purchasers of a home, this is usually the date of settlement.
    • For people who have entered into a building contract, this is the date that the home is ready for occupation, which is when the builder hands over the keys to the home.
    • For owner builders, this is the date that the home is ready for occupation.

     

    Residency period

    Once you have moved in and started living in your home, you must live in the home as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months.

     

    Change in my circumstances

    If your circumstances change after you have entered into a contract and you are not able to meet the residency requirements, contact the Office of State Revenue to discuss your circumstances. You have the following options:

     

    Voluntarily repay the grant

    You can choose to voluntarily repay the grant and any transfer duty that may apply, and then you will be able to apply for the first home owner grant when you purchase or build a home in the future. For more information refer to revenue ruling FHOG 1 'Repayment arrangements' and Commissioner's Practice FHOG 4 'Repayment arrangements'

     

    Apply for a reduction of the residency requirement

    If you can't meet the residency requirement you must write and advise the Commissioner within 30 days after the 12 month residency period expires or the date it becomes apparent you will not be able to fulfil the residency requirement, whichever is the earlier. The Commissioner will determine if you are required to repay the grant.

    If, in the Commissioner’s opinion, there are good reasons why you have been unable to meet one of the residency requirements, you can apply to the Commissioner for a reduction of the residence requirement by completing form F-FHOG2 'Reduction or Extension Application: Residence Requirements' . For more information refer to Commissioner's Practice FHOG/DA 39 ‘Variations to Prescribed Residence Requirements’

    If you don't advise the Commissioner in writing and an investigation reveals that you did not meet the residency requirement you will be required to repay the grant and duty (if applicable) together with a penalty of up to 100% of the grant and you will not be eligible for a future grant or to a first home owner rate of duty in Western Australia. For more information see Your obligations and responsibilities.

     

    Apply for an exemption from the residency requirement

    If there are two or more applicants for the grant and/or first home owner rate of duty, the Commissioner may exempt an applicant if at least one applicant complies with the residency requirement and, in the Commissioner’s opinion, there is good reason to do so.

    Examples of good reason could include, but is not limited to:

    • A couple build a house, however the relationship breaks down before they reside in the home for a continuous period of six months. The husband will reside in the home and meet the residency requirements and the wife will not live in the home.
    • A couple purchase a home, however after the purchase one of the applicants receives an offer of employment elsewhere. The other applicant will meet the residency requirements.
    • A couple purchase a home, however after the purchase one of the applicants needs to return to their country of birth to care for an aging or ill relative. The other applicant will meet the residency requirements.

    In each case, if an exemption is granted, the applicant that is exempted from meeting the residency requirements will not be eligible for a grant and/or first home owner rate of duty in the future.

    To apply, complete form F-FHOG3 'Joint Applicant Exemption: Residence Requirements'.

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