real estate


THE First Home Loan Deposit Scheme IN QUEENSLAND


The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (‘FHLDS’) was announced during the recent Federal election.

The new rules will provide that first-time buyers need only save a 5% deposit when they purchase a new property. Currently most banks and financiers require a 20% deposit before they will consider providing finance for the purchase of a residential property.

The FHLDS will guarantee loans through the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation. 

Not only will it mean that First Home Buyers do not have to save more for the deposit but they may avoid having to pay for mortgage insurance which is often thousands of dollars.

The new policy is due to come into effect from 1 January 2020.

To be eligible individuals cannot be earning more than $125,000 per year or for couples, more than $200,000 per year.

However, the scheme is only available for the first 10,000 first home buyers.


The FHSS (First Home Super Saver Scheme) scheme was introduced by the Australian Government in the Federal – Budget 2017-18 to reduce pressure on housing affordability.

From 1 July 2017 you may make voluntary contributions into your superannuation fund to save for your first home. 

After 1 July 2018 you can apply for the release of your voluntary contributions along with any earnings from the investment of these contributions to go towards the purchase price of your first home.

To be eligible to make use of the FHSS scheme it is required for you to live in the property that you purchase for at least 6 months immediately within the first 12 months after settlement. The house or unit cannot be an investment property that you plan to rent out.

If you plan to use the scheme then you need to apply for and receive confirmation before you sign a contract to buy. It also must be your first home.

Once you receive consent to apply the scheme you can then sign your contract and afterwards apply for release of your FHSS amounts. However be it’s important to know that it may take between 15 and 25 business days to receive the FHSS funds. Therefore, it is essential that before you sign your contract that you: have confirmation and that you make sure that you have a lengthy settlement date if you need the FHSS funds to pay to the Seller on settlement day. 

You have 12 months from the date you make a valid request for release of your FHSS amounts, to do one of the following:

  • sign a contract to purchase or construct your home – and give notice within 28 days that you have signed the contract

  • recontribute the assessable FHSS amount (less tax withheld) into your super fund – and you must give notice within 12 months of the release request date that you have recontributed

If you don't give notice that you have done one of the above or you choose to keep the FHSS money, you will be subject to the FHSS tax. This is a flat tax equal to 20% of your assessable FHSS released amounts. This may not be the same as the total amount released.

If you have any questions regarding your requirements for the Australian Taxation Office and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme in Queensland contact the Horrocks Solicitors team today at 07 3013 2300

If you have any questions regarding your requirements for the Australian Taxation Office and the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme in Queensland contact the Horrocks Solicitors team today at 07 3013 2300

Who is eligible

You can start making super contributions from any age. However, you must be 18 years old or older to request a determination or a release of amounts under the FHSS scheme.

Also, you must have:

  • never owned property in Australia – this includes an investment property, vacant land, commercial property, a lease of land in Australia, or a company title interest in land in Australia (unless the Commissioner of Taxation determines that you have suffered a financial hardship)

  • not previously requested the Commissioner to issue a FHSS release authority in relation to the scheme.

Eligibility is assessed on an individual basis. This means that couples, siblings or friends can each access their own eligible FHSS contributions to purchase the same property. If any of you have previously owned a home, it will not stop anyone else who is eligible from applying.

Financial Hardship Provision

You may still be eligible even if you have previously owned property in Australia, if it is determined that you have suffered a financial hardship that results in a loss of ownership of your property interests. The types of events that could result in the loss of property interests include:

  • bankruptcy

  • divorce, separation from a de-facto partner, or a relationship breakdown

  • loss of employment

  • illness

  • being affected by a natural disaster

  • being eligible for early access to superannuation.

How to apply for financial hardship

If you want to be considered under the financial hardship provision you can apply with either:

ATO online using your myGov account linked to the Australian Tax Office

or by completing a First Home Super Saver scheme Hardship Application Form.




If you buy real estate in Queensland you will be required to pay a sum of Land Tax. Land Tax is a State Government Tax and is collected to contribute to Government services and infrastructure in Queensland. You are considered exempt from Land Tax for any land that has a home on it which is used as your principal place of residence.

The amount of land tax payable is calculated using a land valuation of your property with different rates applicable depending on what type of owner you are (Company or Individual).


Land Tax is calculated on the 30th of June each year and applies for the next 12 months. If you are buying real estate property in Queensland, it is important that before you become the owner of the Land that any Land Tax owing on the Land by the Seller is paid before settlement. If the Seller has not paid their land tax previously you as the new owner will become liable to the Queensland Government for payment of the Seller’s Land Tax.

Read more about Land Tax Clearance Certificates here:

Be very careful when signing off-the-plan contracts (when the Land is still to be subdivided) as often these contracts make the Buyer responsible for payment of the Seller’s Land Tax on settlement. This Land Tax can be a considerable amount if the Seller already owns a lot of real property.  

For more reading on how buying and selling land affects your land tax visit the Queensland Government authority land tax resources page


& here:

Don’t hesitate to contact Horrocks Solicitors today for legal advice regarding your applicable land tax before June 30th arrives this month.



People often ask whether the conveyancing process is necessary when gifting a property to a family member or third party. In addition there is also the question of stamp duty…

The conveyancing of a property to be given away or gifted is straight forward and this thus named "Transfer" is a regular conveyancing practice. A standard fee applies. The only other normal cost of the conveyancing will then be the two title searches. A title search is conducted at the start of the process, and also one on the day of settlement.

It is necessary for the Solicitor to prepare and sign the standard titles forms. If there are mortgages held by the Bank, it will also be required to organise settlement with the corresponding Bank.

Stamp Duty is payable to the Queensland Government in all property transfers unless there is 
(i) a concession for first principal place of residence or
(ii) a transfer by one partner of a relationship to give the other person partner a 1/2 share or
(iii) in a relationship breakdown where there is a Binding Financial Agreement or Orders from the Family Court.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for these concessions, we can provide legal advice by phone or email by calling 07 3013 2300 or via our contact form.

Where stamp duty is payable it is calculated on the market value of the property.

The market value is determined by either 
1. A valuation from a registered valuer or
2. Obtaining a Letter of Appraisal from a Real Estate Agent. The Letter states the market value, confirming it with the address of 3 recent comparable sales in the area. 

For more information about gifting and transferring a property in the state of Queensland contact Horrocks Solicitors. Every conveyancing settlement is different and the specifics of your contract will be handled by one of our highly qualified staff ensuring you get settlement success.

For more about Conveyancing Brisbane return to our Home Page.



The Brisbane river has a history of significant flooding beyond it’s brown riverbanks. Many potential Buyers of real estate in Queensland will ask Horrocks Solicitors what they need to know about buying a house in a flood zone in Brisbane.

As Brisbane sits on flood plains the possibility of a future flooding is high; especially when you take into account that the highest recorded floods occurred as recently as 2011 and 1974, in addition to earlier floods throughout the last century.


If you are concerned about the possibility of buying a property in a flood zone. You can make the following inquiries before you enter into a contract:

1. Flood Awareness Map / Brisbane City Council

The information in this map is sourced via flood studies conducted by the Brisbane City Council.

Click on the Flood Awareness Map and follow the links, it is important you read and

understand the conditions of use. This Map will give you a percentage likelihood of flooding

including details of the 1974 and 2011 floods.



2. FloodWise Property Reports

FloodWise Property Reports show the risk and type of flooding at a specific property including estimated flood levels.