• Residence 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.

    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 circumstances

    If your circumstances change after you have entered into a contract and you are not able to meet the residence 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. You will be able to apply for the grant when you purchase or build a home in the future.

    For more information, see Revenue Ruling TAA/FHOG 1 'Payment arrangements'.
    See details about how to make repayments.

     Apply for a reduction of the residency requirement

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

    If the Commissioner believes there are good reasons why you have been unable to meet one of the residence requirements, you can apply for a reduction of the residence requirement by completing form F-FHOG2 'Reduction or Extension Application: Residence Requirements'. See 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 residence requirements, you will be required to repay the grant and duty (if applicable) together with a penalty of up to 100% of the grant. 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 residence 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 residence requirement and, in the Commissioner’s opinion, there is good reason to do so.

    Some examples of good reasons are:

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

    In each case, if an exemption is granted, the applicant that is exempted from meeting the residence 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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