Changes to your circumstances

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​If at any stage your circumstances change once your application is lodged, you are required to no​​tify us​ within 14 days.​​

Commissioner's discretion​​s

Under the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 the Commissioner of State Revenue may exercise the following discretions: ​
  • extend the time required to commence building work for an increased grant; 
  • extend the time required to complete building work for an increased grant; 
  • reduce the residency period; 
  • increase the time to commence residency; 
  • exempt a non-complying applicant from residency; and 
  • extend the time to apply for the First Home Owner Grant. ​​
Applications are treated on a case-by-case basis according to the facts of the applicant's circumstances. Applications will only be considered once an application for the grant has been received.
 
 
​​Select one or more of the topics below about the types of situations that might lead you to apply for the Commissioner's discretion. 

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You must notify us within 14 days of the date you become aware that you cannot meet the residency requirement*. We regularly conduct compliance programs to check that grant applicants have met the residency requirements. It you have not met the requirements. you will be required to repay the grant and may face penalties if you do not disclose the fact that you did not reside in the grant property as the law requires.  

In exceptional circumstances (those outside the control of the applica​​nt) the Commissioner has the discretion to: 

  • extend the 12 month period in which you must commence occupying your home;
  • reduce the six month period for which you must occupy your home (this period cannot be reduced to zero); or
  • exclude one or more of the applicants (but not all applicants) from the requirement to comply with the residency requirement. (see drop down 4, "Exempt a non-complying applicant from residency").

​Requests to vary the period of occupancy cannot be considered after a decision has been made to recall the grant.

* The residency requirement requires​ you to occupy the home as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months commencing within 12 months of settlement.​​

If you cannot meet the building timeframes you can write to the Commissioner to request an extension. 

The Commissioner has the discretion to extend the period for completion of building work if satisfied there is good reason. Relevant factors in considering exercising the discretion are: the duration of the extension requested and the amount of building works undertaken within the relevant period (ie partial compliance).

This discretion will not be exercised where the applicant has contributed to, or caused, the delay or failed to use all reasonable endeavours to comply with completion of building requirements. In addition, the Commissioner will not extend the completion of building requirement when delays are due to:
  • the applicant entered into the eligible transaction knowing that completion would not be within the timeframe.
  • the builder accepting more contracts than they can reasonably complete; and
  • failure to adequately plan for minor project setbacks.​ 

If the extension is not allowed you may still be eligible for a grant of $10 000.​


Section ​14(5) of the First Home Owner Grant Act 2000 states that an application for the Grant must be made within 12 months after the completion of the eligible transaction to which it relates. The Commissioner has the discretion to extend the application period where it is considered there is good reason to do so. 

The Commissioner will not extend the application period where the delay in applying was the result of the applicant’s failure to conduct adequate and timely research or enquiries about their eligibility for the grant.


Section 12(2) of the Act states the Commissioner may exempt an applicant from the residence requirement if: 
  • the applicant is one of two or more applicants for the grant; 
  • at least one applicant complies with the requirement; and 
  • there are good reasons to exempt the non-complying applicant.
The following are some of the factors that are likely to be considered favourably by the Commissioner, it at the time of the application the applicant was unaware they would be unable to comply when determining an application to exercise this discretion: 
  • court orders preventing an applicant from living in the property; 
  • health problems requiring an applicant to live away from the property; or 
  • change in location of employment or loss of employment of an applicant such as forced transfers or closure of prominent local business.
​Generally, the Commissioner is more likely to exercise this discretion where the applicant: 
  • ​was unaware at the time of applying for the grant they would be unable to meet the residency conditions specified in the Act; and 
  • ​has an ongoing connection with the home and has a reasonable expectation of residing there at some point in the future.
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How to apply for the Commissioner's discretion

Applications should be made within 14 days of you becoming aware that you may not be able to comply with one or more conditions of the grant. Your written application should include the following: ​

  • full details about the changed circumstances that have led to you now apply to the Commissioner asking to ​exercise their discretion about one or more conditions of the grant;
  • applicant’s full name ​and the address of the property in question; 
  • the new expected date for building to commence, or the new expected date for building to be completed;  
  • copies of the contract to either ​purchase the property or to build; and
  • ​​​​independent confirmation from one or more people/organisations that support your request for the change; for example, if there is a building delay you could include a letter from the builder explaining the delay and what is being done to try to resolve the problem, or for a change in your employment, you should provide official letters or contracts about the change to your job situation. ​
Refer to the Commissioner's Discretion guideline for more details.
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