Publication-FHOG-Lodgement

NOTE: As part of a whole of government push to improve the accessibility of content and make it WCAG 2.0 Level AA compliant, the First Home Owner Grant lodgement guide was updated from a PDF to an HTML publication on 28 June 2017. Previous PDF versions of the guide have been superseded.

Please read the ‘Terms used’ for explanations in completing the application

4 easy steps to claim your grant

Lodgement guide

Supporting evidence

When will the grant be paid 

When do I have to move in and for how long?

Terms used

Guide to completing the application

Penalties

4 easy steps to claim your grant

1. Read lodgement guide

Important information to read before completing and submitting your application

2. Complete application form

Here is the application form. Complete all relevant sections

3. Supply all supporting evidence

Please complete the checklist to ensure all required supporting documentation is attached

4. Lodge application

Submit to your approved agent or the SRO

Lodgement guide

Each applicant should read this information before completing and submitting the application form

NOTE: Words shown in italics are explained in Terms used.

To apply 

Applicants must:

  • fully complete the application form and lodge with all relevant supporting documentation
  • be a natural person (i.e. not applying as a company or trust), at least 18 years of age at the date of settlement or completion of construction
  • ensure at least one applicant is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident at the date of settlement or completion of construction
  • be buying or building a home for which the contract was signed on or after 1 July 2000, or building a home as an owner builder where building commenced on or after 1 July 2000
  • be buying or building a home for which the purchase price of the property does not exceed the $750,000 cap for eligible transactions which commenced on or after 1 January 2010
  • ensure each person holding a relevant interest in the property is an applicant
  • ensure at least one applicant will reside in the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 12 months commencing within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction
  • lodge an application within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction 

Applicants and their spouse/partner must not:

  • have previously received a First Home Owner Grant in any state or territory of Australia. If a grant was received but later paid back together with any penalty you may be entitled to reapply for the grant
  • have previously owned or held a relevant interest in a residential property anywhere in Australia prior to 1 July 2000
  • have occupied, for a continuous period of at least six months, a residential property in which they acquired a relevant interest on or after 1 July 2000 anywhere in Australia

How to lodge your application

You can lodge your application with:

  • the State Revenue Office (SRO)

If you lodge your application with the SRO, you must send the ORIGINAL application together with copies of your supporting documents

NOTE: Applications cannot be lodged with the SRO until after the completion of the eligible transaction.

Supporting evidence

Proof of identity

If lodging with an approved agent: If lodging with the SRO:
Category 1

Each applicant and their spouse/partner must provide a Category 1 document.

Category 1 documents for Australian citizens are:

  • A copy of an Australian birth certificate
  • A copy of an Australian passport
  • A copy of an Australian citizenship certificate

Category 1 document for New Zealand citizens* is:

  • A copy of their current passport

Category 1 documents for citizens of another country are:

  • A copy of their current passport
  • A copy of evidence of their permanent residency or permanent residence visa

*New Zealand citizens must be living in Australia upon completion of the eligible transaction

NOTE: At least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the date of settlement or completion of construction

Each applicant and their spouse/partner must provide a document from each of the four categories (four documents per person). A single document cannot be used for more than one category.

Do not send original documents. Only send copies. 

Category 1

Category 1 documents for Australian citizens are:

  • A copy of an Australian birth certificate
  • A copy of an Australian passport
  • A copy of an Australian citizenship certificate

Under the Category 1 document for New Zealand citizens* is:

  • A copy of their current passport and
  • A copy of their movement record

Category 1 documents for citizens of another country are:

  • A copy of their current passport
  • A copy of evidence of their permanent residency or permanent residence visa

* New Zealand citizens must be living in Australia upon completion of the eligible transaction. The movement record is to be supplied as evidence of this and can be obtained from the Department of Immigration. 

NOTE: At least one applicant must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident at the date of settlement or completion of construction

Details of the proof of identity information submitted in
the application and contained on the copies of the preferred documents attached will be verified with the authorities which issued the original documents.

Not applicable

Category 2

Linkage between identity and person (photo and signature) – provide only one copy of the following:

  • Current Australian driver’s licence
  • Current passport
  • Current firearms licence
  • Proof of Age card issued by Consumer Affairs (photo ID card)
Not applicable
Category 3

Evidence that each applicant and their spouse/partner reside in Australia – provide a copy for one of the following:

  • Medicare card
  • Current motor vehicle registration notice
  • Current Centrelink or Department of Veterans Affairs card
Not applicable
Category 4

Evidence of each applicant and their spouse/partner’s residential address – provide a copy for one of the following:

  • Utilities document showing current residential address (e.g. bills for electricity, gas, water etc)
  • Insurance policy showing current residential address

Additional supporting evidence is required if any of the following applies to you:

If you are:

  • Married – a copy of your marriage certificate
  • Divorced – a copy of your divorce certificate
  • Widowed – a copy of the death certificate of your spouse/partner
  • Separated – a statutory declaration containing the following information about your former spouse/partner:
    • Their name
    • Their date of birth
    • Their current address (if known)
    • The date you were married or commenced your domestic relationship
    • The date you separated
    • A statement to the effect that you do not live together and have no intention of resuming your relationship
  • A member of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF):
    • A copy of a document issued by the ADF showing your name and that you are a permanent member of the ADF at the commencement date of the eligible transaction
    • Documentation confirming your enrolment on the Victorian electoral roll.

NOTE: Evidence of change of name is required if the name on any of the documents presented is different to the name of the applicant (e.g. change of name certificate, statutory declaration)

Additional supporting evidence is required if any of the following applies to you:

If you are:

  • Married – a copy of your marriage certificate
  • Divorced – a copy of your divorce certificate
  • Widowed – a copy of the death certificate of your spouse/partner
  • Separated – a statutory declaration containing the following information about your former spouse/partner:
    • Their name
    • Their date of birth
    • Their current address (if known)
    • The date you were married or commenced your domestic relationship
    • The date you separated
    • A statement to the effect that you do not live together and have no intention of resuming your relationship
  • A member of the Australian Defence Forces (ADF):
    • A copy of a document issued by the ADF showing your name and that you are a permanent member of the ADF at the commencement date of the eligible transaction
    • Documentation confirming your enrolment on the Victorian electoral roll.

NOTE: Evidence of change of name is required if the name on any of the documents presented is different to the name of the applicant (e.g. change of name certificate, statutory declaration)

Evidence relating to the transaction

A. Contract to purchase a new or off-the-plan home

If lodging with an approved agent, you must provide: If lodging with the SRO, you must provide

For new homes:

  • A copy of the exchanged contract of sale, dated and signed by all parties
  • Statutory declaration from the vendor or a letter on Vendor's letterhead stating that this is the first sale as a residential property
  • A copy of the Certificate of Occupancy​

For off-the-plan homes:

  • A copy of the exchanged contract of sale, dated and signed by all parties, and

For new homes:

  • A copy of the exchanged contract of sale, dated and signed by all parties
  • Statutory declaration from the vendor or a letter on Vendor's letterhead stating that this is the first sale as a residential property
  • A copy of the Certificate of Occupancy
  • A copy of the registered transfer and land form signed by all parties showing date duty paid. If property acquired through "Unit Shares", please contact the SRO directly for requirements

For off-the-plan homes:

  • A copy of the exchanged contract of sale, dated and signed by all parties, and
  • A copy of the registered transfer and land form signed by all parties showing date duty paid. If property acquired through "Unit Shares", please contact the SRO directly for requirements
Further supporting evidence is required for the following: 

Not applicable

Purchasing from a related entity or associated party:

  • A copy of the registered stamped transfer of land form with the Land Registry Victoria registration number clearly shown
  • Evidence that the consideration has been paid by the applicant (e.g. provided copies of bank statements of both the vendor and applicant showing payment [withdrawal and deposit of purchase money] at settlement and any loan agreement

Not applicable

Nominee purchaser where you are a related or associated party to the named purchaser in the contract:

  • Evidence that the consideration has been paid by the applicant (e.g. provide copies of mortgage, loan agreement, bank cheques and bank statements) 

Purchasing from a deceased estate where the applicant is not related to the deceased person:

  • Where you are not related to the deceased person and are not a beneficiary under the will of the deceased person, provide a statutory declaration confirming these details.

Purchasing from a deceased estate where the applicant is not related to the deceased person:

  • Where you are not related to the deceased person and are not a beneficiary under the will of the deceased person, provide a statutory declaration confirming these details

Applications for the FHOG where the transaction is the result of a purchase from a deceased estate where the deceased is related to the applicant must be lodged directly with the SRO.

Where you are related to the deceased person or are a beneficiary under the will of the deceased person, provide the following:

  • A copy of the will and grant of probate
  • A copy of settlement statement for the estate
  • Evidence of payment of consideration to the estate, and
  • A copy of the stamped transfer of land form with the Land Registry Victoria registration number clearly shown

 B. Contract to build a home

If lodging with an approved agent: If lodging with the SRO:

Provide a copy of the:

  • Contract to build dated and signed by all parties

Provide a copy of the:

  • Contract to build dated and signed by all parties
  • Title search showing the applicant(s) as the registered proprietor(s)
  • Certificate of Occupancy

 C. Owner builder

If lodging with an approved agent: If lodging with the SRO:

Provide a copy of the:

  • Evidence of the date for laying of the foundations (receipts, notice of inspection)
  • Certificate of Occupancy

Provide a copy of the:

  • Evidence of the date for laying of the foundations (e.g. receipts, notice of inspection)
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Title search showing the applicant(s) as the registered proprietor(s)
  • Documentary evidence of the building costs incurred for the construction of the home. The evidence submitted must total an amount equal to or greater than the grant and must not include your own labour costs

When will the grant be paid 

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. The following table details the various scenarios.

Purchase of a new or off-the-plan home

If lodging with an approved agent: If lodging with the SRO:

The grant will be paid at date of settlement

Payment will made to your nominated account by the SRO within 14 days of lodging your application. An application will only be considered after settlement

 Contract to build

If lodging with an approved agent: If lodging with the SRO:

The grant will be paid at date of the first progressive payment

Payment will made to your nominated account by the SRO within 14 days of lodging your application. An application will only be considered after issue of the Certificate of Occupancy

 Owner builder

If lodging with an approved agent: If lodging with the SRO:

The grant will be paid on receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy

Payment will made to your nominated account by the SRO within 14 days of lodging your application. An application will only be considered after issue of the Certificate of Occupancy

 Terms contract

If lodging with an approved agent: If lodging with the SRO:

Applications for purchases under a terms contract must be made directly to the SRO

Payment will made to your nominated account by the SRO within 14 days of lodging your application. An application will only be considered after providing evidence of possession

Payment of the First Home Owner Grant is subject to the written approval being made by the Commissioner of State Revenue.

Your application will be returned to you if not fully completed and the required supporting evidence is not attached.

When do I have to move in and for how long?

  • At least one applicant must live in the home as their principal place of residence for at least 12 continuous months commencing within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction (residency requirement). 
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to satisfy the Commissioner that they have met the residency requirement. Applicants may be required to verify this later by providing evidence supporting their period of occupancy.
  • Should you not meet the residency requirement, you must notify the SRO in writing within 14 days of the notifiable event, and repay the grant.

Terms used

Applicant

The person applying for a grant who, on completion of the purchase of a home or construction of a new home, will own or hold a relevant interest in the land on which the home is built.

Approved agent

An organisation approved by the SRO that is authorised to process applications for the First Home Owner Grant.

Commencement date of the eligible transaction

Date of contract to purchase or build a home, or for an owner builder it is the date the foundations commenced being laid.

Commissioner

Commissioner of State Revenue Victoria.

Completion of the eligible transaction

When the applicant is entitled to possession of the property under the contract, or the building is ready for occupation as a place of residence and (except for terms contracts and where a duty off-set is elected) the applicant is registered on the Certificate of Title.

Contract to build

A comprehensive building contract where a builder agrees to build a home, from the time the building starts to when it is finished and ready for occupation.

Consideration

Purchase price or cost of construction of the home.

Duty statement

Printable statement confirming that a transaction has been submitted to, and assessed by, the SRO. Available through the Duties Online system to approved users.

Eligible transaction

Contract for the purchase of a new home, contract to build a home or construct a home as an owner builder on or after 1 July 2013.

Home

A building, affixed to land, that may be lawfully used as a place of residence and is, in the Commissioner’s opinion, suitable for use as a place of residence.

Natural person

A person (does not include a company or trust).

New home

A home which is being sold for the first time as residential premises, or a home that qualifies as ‘a new residential premises’ under section 40-75(1) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999, including a home which is purchased off the plan. (Refer to www.sro.vic.gov.au for further information).

Nominee purchaser

An applicant for the grant who was not a party to the contract of sale, but who was nominated by the purchaser to take a transfer of the property.

Notifiable event

When any part of the eligibility criteria is not met, the applicant(s) must notify the Commissioner within 14 days of the event.

An example would be where an applicant is not able to occupy the home as their principal place of residence within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction.

Off-the-plan

A contract for the purchase of the home on a proposed lot in an unregistered plan of a subdivision of land.

Owner

A person who has a relevant interest in land on which a home is built.

Owner builder

An owner of land who builds a home or has a home built, on the land without entering into a contract to build.

Permanent resident

A person who holds a permanent residency visa under
Section 30 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) or a New Zealand citizen who is the holder of a special category visa under Section 32 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).

Related or associated party

A person is related to or associated with another party when: 

(i)   one is the spouse/partner of the other, or 

(ii)  they are related by blood, marriage or adoption, or

(iii) they are a shareholder or director of the other party, being a company, or

(iv) they are a beneficiary of a trust for which the other party is a trustee, or

(v)  the transaction is otherwise not at arm’s length.

Relevant interest

A person with a relevant interest may be described as someone who will have a legal entitlement to occupy the home being bought or constructed. Usually this will be the person(s) registered as proprietor on the title. This commonly is an estate in fee simple. Other forms of interest are defined in the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000. Each person acquiring a relevant interest must be an applicant on the application form.

Residential property

Land in Australia on which there is a home which is lawfully occupied or suitable for occupation. This includes houses, townhouses, units, flats, duplexes, converted warehouses and fixed moveable homes.

Spouse/partner

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.

SRO

State Revenue Office of Victoria.

Terms contract

A contract of sale where the purchaser has to make two or more payments (excluding the deposit) to the vendor after the contract is signed by all parties.

The applicant as the purchaser must be in possession under the contract and cannot be registered on title until the final payment is made to the vendor.

Title search

A search on the land which shows the names of the registered owners. A title search can be obtained from the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Land Victoria Office.

Guide to completing the application

The First Home Owner Grant application form has nine sections. These sections must be completed as follows:

1. Eligibility criteria

Answer Questions 1 to 7 by ticking the relevant Yes or No box.

The answers are designed to establish that the applicant(s) for the grant meets the eligibility criteria.

All persons with a relevant interest (refer to ‘Terms used’) in the property, and any spouse/partner of these persons, must be considered when answering these questions. 

In exceptional circumstances, the Commissioner may use discretion relating to the eligibility criteria. Please contact the SRO for further information.

All decisions relating to the eligibility of an applicant are made by the Commissioner

2. Applicant details

Detail the number of persons with a relevant interest. All persons who have, or will have, a relevant interest in the property must record their details in this section.

If there are more than two applicants, an additional application will need to be completed and attached. 

If an applicant has a spouse/partner, there are two options. If your spouse/partner is an applicant, they must complete this section. If your spouse/partner is not an applicant, their details must be recorded within section 3. 

Please nominate a postal address for correspondence to be sent on behalf of all applicants. 

3. Australian Defence Force exemption

Australian Defence Force personnel do not have to meet the residency requirement. This section only needs to be completed if an applicant wants to claim the exemption.

4. Spouse/partner details

This section must be completed by the applicant in relation to their spouse/partner who has not already been specified as an applicant in section 2. If this section is required to be completed the spouse/partner must complete the declaration in section 7.

5. Property and transaction details

Provide the current title (volume and folio numbers) details of the property. These can be obtained from the transfer of land form, a title search or the contract of sale. If unknown, enter the parent title details. 

Provide the expected date of occupancy as owner of the home. Estimate this date if you are unsure. To be eligible for the grant at least one applicant must occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 12 months, commencing within 12 months of completion of the eligible transaction. 

6. Payment details

Applicants must complete this section only if applying through the SRO. You must nominate an account to receive funds electronically (EFT). The account can belong to a person who is not an applicant.

Payment of the grant will be made into the nominated account. Provide details of the name of financial institution, account name, BSB, and account number. Failure to provide correct details will cause delays in payment of the grant.

7. Declaration by applicant

All applicants must read and understand all details on the application form before signing the declaration.

8. Declaration by spouse/partner

If an applicant’s spouse/partner is not an applicant, they must read and understand all details on the application form before signing the declaration.

9. Supporting documentation checklist

Please supply the required documents with your application and tick off the documents attached. Failure to produce the required documentation may result in delays in processing.

Penalties

The SRO, as part of its role in administering the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000, conducts ongoing investigations to ensure that applicants comply with the conditions of the Act. 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.  

Making a false or misleading statement in, or in connection with, this application

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.

The information in this lodgement guide is for general guidance only. It should not be relied upon to address every aspect of the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000.