by Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B
Real Estate Lawyer
Qualified Practising Conveyancer Victoria
Director Lawyers Real Estate Pty Ltd
Since 14 October, 2008 we have received numerous telephone enquiries from purchasers of residential real estate who want to change the date of their purchase contract in order to become eligible for the increased First Home Owner Grant. Consumers are warned that the changing of dates on a contract could constitute a serious criminal offence.
What happens if a person, having purchased their new home a week ago, only just misses out on the increase in the First Home Owner Grant for purchases made on or after 14 October, 2008, and before 30 June, 2009?
And what if a person who was intending to have purchased before 30 June, 2009 finds that negotiations take longer than expected, and the contract is not actually executed until 3 July, 2009?
Easy! Just change the date on the contract, it’ll be the easiest $7,000 or so that you’ll ever make. It may also be the easiest way to be charged with a serious criminal offence.
Take a look at the First Home Owner Grant application form – it can be found at RealEstateDocuments.com.au – and note the warning on the front page:
“It is an offence to make a false or misleading statement, and heavy penalties may be imposed“