If your home has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by an occurrence for which you were not responsible, or as a result of an accident, you may be eligible for an exemption from land tax for up to 3 financial years while you repair or rebuild.
Must I have lived in the home prior to it being destroyed or rendered uninhabitable?
You must have been living in the home as your principal place of residence immediately before the building was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.
Must I live in the home after repairs/rebuild?
Yes, it must be your intention to occupy the home as your principal place of residence once building work is complete.
Pat’s home was badly damaged during a storm. It has been rendered uninhabitable.
The home was her principal place of residence until the damage occurred and she plans to move back in once repairs are made and it is safe to live in again.
No rental income is generated from the property.
An exemption will be available for up to 3 years while the rebuild occurs and Pat would be eligible for a principal place of residence exemption once she moves back into the property.
What is a principal place of residence?
A principal place of residence is where the land (home):
- is the primary residence of the owner(s);
- is the owner(s) usual residence; (that is, where they undertake their normal living activities, such as eating and sleeping);
- is occupied on an ongoing basis, that is, occupation is not merely transitory or an intention to occupy; and
- has buildings which are predominately residential in nature.
View more information on the principal place of residence exemption.
What if there are 2 or more owners?
Where a property is owned by 2 or more persons, only one of them must meet the principal place of residence exemption criteria once they move in.
If the residing owner only owns an interest in the property of less than 50%, they may not be eligible for an exemption where the residing owner holds an interest of:
- 5% or less, unless the Commissioner is satisfied that the resident’s interest was not for a purpose related to the reduction of the amount of land tax payable; or
- between 5% and 50% and the Commissioner has formed the opinion that the resident’s interest was created to reduce the amount of land tax payable.
Does it apply to any building type?
The building that was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable must have been predominately residential in character.
The building following repair or rebuild must also be residential in character.
The design, use and functionality of a building will determine if a building is residential in character. Caravans and tents are not considered buildings for the purposes of this exemption.
What timeframe do I have to rebuild?
You must intend to repair or rebuild the building within 3 years from the date on which your home was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.
What if I don’t rebuild within the timeframe?
The exemption expires if the repair or rebuilding has not been completed within 3 years from the date the home was destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.
The property may become liable for land tax following the 3 year exemption period.
What happens if I live in another home I own during the duration of the repairs/rebuild?
You may only receive one principal place of residence exemption.
If you move into another home that you own while the repairs or rebuilding occurs you can choose which property the exemption will be applied to (that is, either the home being repaired/rebuilt or the home in which you are physically living).
If you are renting or living with relatives or friends, the exemption will apply to the home being repaired/rebuilt.
How do I apply for an exemption?
You can apply online.
- Select Principal place of residence as the property type option that best describes the use or circumstances of the property.
- Select uninhabitable when prompted by question ‘The residence on this property is:’.
Before you commence your application, you will need:
- Your ownership number. This can be found on the top right corner of your land tax or emergency services levy notice of assessment.
- The assessment number of the property. This can be found on your land tax or emergency services levy notice of assessment, water rates or council rates notice.
- Supporting documentation, such as a copy of:
- Insurance report stating that the home has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable.
- Contracts to repair or rebuild the home.