Builders terms obstructing eligibility for First Home Owners’ Grant

14 October 2020

Look closely and you’ll discover a catch in the rules for the Queensland Government’s First Home Owners’ Grant.

Read the fine print and you will find that the grant is only available for first home buyers purchasing a new home.

The government defines a new home as either:

  • A house, apartment, unit or townhouse that has never been
    • occupied as a place of residence
    • sold as a place of residence
  • A substantially renovated home.

However, the stipulation “never been sold as a place of residence” has been catching people out.

Here’s how.

Builders can secure access to a vacant block of land from a developer on “builder’s terms”. Ownership of the land does not transfer to the builder until construction is complete. Because the land transfers into the builder’s name with a house on the land, the new house is deemed to have “been sold as a place of residence”. This is despite the transaction actually only being for the land.

This renders the next transaction to the home owner ineligible for the grant, as the house has previously been “sold as a place of residence”.

A builder may also transfer a house from one related legal entity to another before selling onto the first home buyer. These transactions also render the homeowner ineligible for the grant as the house has been “sold as a place of residence”.

In both of these scenarios it is doesn’t matter that the house has never been occupied.  The fact that it has been ‘sold’ is enough to make the first home owner ineligible for the grant.

This is not a new rule and the legislation is very clear, making the government well prepared to ensure that the rule is adhered to.

Any questions? Call Master Builders on 1300 30 50 10.

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