BAKER DEANE
& NUTT

Canberra
Level 1, 1 Farrell Place
Canberra City ACT 2601
Phone: (02) 6230 1999

Queanbeyan
260 Crawford Street
Queanbeyan NSW 2620
Phone: (02) 6299 3999

FAQ - First Home Owners Grant in the ACT

The Australian dream of owning your own home

What is a FHOG?

The First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) Scheme was introduced on 1 July 2000 and provided a grant to first home buyers to purchase their first home.

Is there a cap for FHOG?

A first home owner grant cap applies to eligible transactions that commence on or after 1 January 2011. The cap limits the total value of eligible properties (i.e. total value of home and land) to $750,000 or less.

Who is eligible to receive FHOG?

Applicants must:

  • lodge an application within 1 year after completion of the eligible transaction;
  • fully complete and sign the application form and lodge it together with the required supporting documents;
  • be an individual at least 18 years of age^ (i.e. not be applying as a company or a trust, unless as trustee for a person with a legal disability);
  • ensure at least one applicant is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident;
  • be buying or building a new home, substantially renovated or off the plan home for which the contract was signed on or after 1 January 2016, or building a home as an owner builder where building commenced on or after 1 January 2016;
  • ensure each person holding a relevant interest in the property is an applicant;
  • ensure at least one applicant must reside in the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 1 year, with the period of occupation starting within 1 year after completion of the eligible transaction; and
  • be buying or building a new home for which the total value of the property does not exceed $750,000.

What kind of property can I purchase?

The grant applies to new and substantially renovated homes in the ACT. A home is a building affixed to the land that may lawfully be used as a place of residence. An off the plan purchase or a house and land package will become eligible for the grant on settlement.

What can the money be used for?

If you wish for the monies to be used at settlement or first draw down/progress payment you must lodge your application with an approved agent. Applications for payment after completion can be lodged at the ACT Revenue Office.

How do I apply?

You can apply with an approved agent or directly with the ACT Revenue Office.

Type of transaction Applying through Payment of grant will be made/available
Purchase of New, Substantially renovated home or Off the plan home Approved agent At date of settlement by approved agent.
ACT Revenue Office Within 10 working days of lodging a complete application, after completion of the eligible transaction.
Contract to build Approved agent On date of first progress payment by approved agent.
ACT Revenue Office Within 10 working days of lodging a complete application, after completion of the eligible transaction.
Owner builder Approved agent When construction of the home has been completed.
ACT Revenue Office Within 10 working days of lodging a complete application, after completion of the eligible transaction.
Terms contract ACT Revenue Office Only Within 10 working days of lodging a complete application with evidence of possession and at least $10,000 has been paid.

Do I have to live in the house to receive the FHOG?

  • At least one applicant must start occupying the home within 1 year after completion of the eligible transaction.
  • At least one applicant must reside in the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
  • Applicants must satisfy the Commissioner that they have met the residency requirements and may be required to prove residency by providing documentary evidence of their period of occupancy.
  • Applicants who do not satisfy the residency requirements must notify the Commissioner in writing within 14 days of the notifiable event and repay the grant.

NOTE: The Commissioner may apply discretion to extend or exempt the residency requirements in certain circumstances. Mandatory timeframes and evidentiary requirements apply to all applications requesting consideration for discretion to be exercised.

Baker Deane & Nutt