In a recent decision handed down by QCAT a first home buyer has been denied the first home buyer's grant. The full decision of QCAT appears here: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/qld/QCAT/2020/231.html
The essence of the case comes down to the character of the property. Here, we had Springfield, the original land developer, sell land and a dwelling to Ownit Homes, who then on sold to the applicant. The intent of the Parliament in providing a first home owner grant, is to provide a grant to a first home buyer who builds or buys a new home, AND thereby boosts the housing construction sector. The Tribunal provided that this was already achieved when the home was first built and then transferred to Ownit Homes - before the Applicants purchased it: "This means that the home was previously sold as a place of residence before the Applicants bought it...the contract between the Applicants and Ownit was therefore not for the purchase of a new home and was not eligible for the first home owner grant". The fact that the home was a display home was irrelevant for this purpose. It was also stated by the Tribunal that the description of the property in the contract may, although not in this case, be a determining factor. It is important to always have your contracts reviewed BEFORE you sign, as the outcome may have been different if the description was different AND there was a special condition. It will always depend on the circumstances of each individual case, but this is definitely a heads up for those first home buyers who may assume they are entitled to the grant in a similar situation.
Posted By despina-priala
Despina Priala has practised in property and commercial law on the Gold Coast for over 25 years and has extensive experience in this area.
Updated : 10th July 2020 | Words : 273 | Views : 234