As a Licensed Conveyancer, I have many clients who are a first
home buyer who buy vacant land or off the plan homes or units. The
most common questions we get asked are;
'If I have purchased property already, can my partner
purchase and claim the first home benefits? and
'If I purchase this property in just my name, can my
partner then purchase another and we both receive the first home
For a first home buyer with a spouse the first step to providing
the answer is figuring out what the Office of State Revenue
consider to be a partner, or as they title it a 'spouse/de
facto'. Spouse would include your wife or husband. When we
consider de facto this would include someone you are living with,
have children with and/or someone who is dependent on you/someone
you are dependent on. So what you consider to be a de facto partner
may differ from that of the Office of State Revenue. If you are
unsure, it is best to check with them before entering into a
Contract for Sale.
Now that we know what constitutes a spouse, we can determine
whether having one affects your ability to purchase property and
receive the first home benefits. Both the factsheets Office of
State Revenue provide for the First Home Owners Grant and First
Home New Exemption or Concession from Duty state that the applicant
AND their spouse must not have owned property in Australia before.
There are a couple of exceptions to this, but this is the general
So, if you have a spouse and they have owned property in
Australia before, chances are you are not eligible for the First
In addition to this, you must declare your spouse on the Grant
and Duty Exemption/Concession application form. It is so then that
you are restricted from each purchasing a property and claiming the
To be an eligible for the First Home Buyer grant you will need
to be an 'eligible purchaser' under the Contract. The
Office of State Revenue describe an 'eligible purchaser'
Being a natural person (i.e. not a company or trust)
18 years of age who has not, and whose spouse/de facto has
at any time owned (either solely or with someone else)
residential property in Australia other than property owned solely
as trustee or executor; or
previously received an exemption or concession under First Home
Therefore, you may be eligible if you or your spouse, including
de facto spouse, have only had a relevant interest in any
residential property in Australia on or after 1 July 2000 and you
have not resided in that property for a continuous period of at
least 6 months.
However, each and every case is different and we would have to
submit a request to the Office of State Revenue for their
A note to remember: If you apply for the grant
and then it is found that you and your partner/spouse are not
eligible to receive the grant then you will need to pay back the
grant. Failure to pay the grant back may result in
penalties and prosecution.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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