Hundreds of Queensland homebuyers have been left outraged after their applications for the $25,000 HomeBuilder Grant were rejected. Attwood Marshall Lawyers Property and Commercial Lawyer, Aimee Turner, discusses the current schemes available to home buyers and the importance of being aware of the fine print.
There was widespread disappointment as hundreds of Aussies, who dreamed of building a home with the assistance of a $25,000 government grant, had their applications denied and were left to source the funds themselves to avoid breaching their building contracts.
The HomeBuilder grant (the Grant) is an Australian Federal Government initiative offered to individuals and couples buying a new home, building a new home or substantially renovating an existing home, in which they will own and reside in. It was bought in by the former Coalition government as part of the COVID-19 stimulus package.
Each Australian State and Territory has different eligibility criteria and decision-making procedures in place to determine who will obtain approval for the Grant. In Queensland, the scheme is administered by the Queensland Revenue Office (the QRO). The QRO are now faced with having to review the basis on which various applications have been denied, which includes but is not limited to, satellite images evidencing that construction took place prior to the eligibility start date.
In Queensland, when a new home is built, the Grant is only applicable where a comprehensive home building contract exists between the owner and builder. A comprehensive home building contract is one where a licensed builder undertakes to construct a property from commencement to completion. Since applying for the Grant, many applicants discovered the contract they entered with a builder was not a comprehensive home building contract because separate contractors were engaged for works, such as excavation or electrical works. As a result, such applicants were deemed ineligible for the Grant and left absolutely devasted after not receiving the $25,000 grant. Many denied applicants were convinced they were eligible to obtain the grant and had relied on this assumption when agreeing to purchase a property. Unfortunately, denied applicants have since suffered financially and are left feeling extremely frustrated.
Other Australian Schemes
The Australian Government offers various schemes and grants to home buyers as an incentive to purchase a property.
In Queensland, the schemes available include, but are not limited to the following:
- National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) – this aims to reduce rental costs for low-income earners and increase the amount of affordable rental houses.
- First Home Owner Grant – this aims to assist first home buyers to purchase their first home sooner by offering a $15,000 grant to eligible applicants.
- Regional Home Building Boost Grant – this is a $5,000 grant offered to owners purchasing a property in regional Queensland.
- First Home Buyer Stamp Duty Concession – eligible first homeowners can claim the benefit of a stamp duty concession provided the property is valued under $550,000.00.
- Queensland Housing Finance Loan – this is available to purchasers who can afford to buy or build a home but cannot get private finance from a bank or building society.
In New South Wales, the schemes available include, but are not limited to the following:
- First Home Owner Grant – buyers may be eligible for a $10,000 grant when purchasing their first home.
- First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme – buyers may be eligible to claim an exemption or reduction of transfer duty when purchasing a home.
Reading the fine print
The comprehensive home building contract criteria for the construction of a new home is a prime example of where applicants were not aware of the fine print and the consequences were severe. Additionally, many applicants are often not aware of the timeframes and deadlines involved with government schemes and grants, which can cause unfavourable outcomes. When applying, it is essential that you are aware of the strict eligibility criteria for each separate grant and the circumstances that will deem you ineligible. Additionally, it is imperative that you do not enter a contract if you are relying on the approval of a government grant and do not have a clear understanding of what is required in obtaining the same.
Whilst reading and understanding fine print may seem time-consuming, it may save you valuable time and money in the future. Our Property Lawyers are available to assist you with reading the fine print and determining any conditions you should be aware of when engaging in property transactions.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers – helping home buyers secure their dream home
Our Property Law and Conveyancing team are ready to help buyers and sellers ensure their property transaction proceeds quickly and smoothly.
We aim to diminish the stress involved in buying and selling property so that you can move into your new home faster without the fuss.
We offer FREE pre-signing advice on all Queensland Contracts to give you quality advice and peace of mind before entering into any agreements. Our Robina Town Centre office is also open Thursday nights and Saturday mornings for your convenience.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers is a PEXA certified law firm, allowing us to deliver fast, efficient digitally, and secure property transactions. We strive to ensure your settlement will proceed seamlessly and happen on time.
To avoid risk or unnecessary delays, get the right legal advice by contacting our Property and Commercial Department Manager, Jess Kimpton, on direct line 07 5506 8214, mobile 0432 857 300 or email email@example.com
We also have a dedicated commercial litigation team that handles property, building and construction disputes. Our team is well-versed in dispute resolution strategies to help anyone involved in a building dispute resolve their matter effectively.
Equipped with a Law Society Dispute Resolution Accredited Specialist, we have an enviable track record of assisting our clients throughout Queensland and New South Wales to achieve satisfactory resolutions without having to embark upon an expensive, lengthy, and uncertain court process.
If you are embroiled in a property or building dispute, please don’t hesitate to contact our Department Manager, Amanda Heather, on direct line 07 5506 8245, email firstname.lastname@example.org or free call 1800 621 071 to find out where you stand.
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