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Division 2: Sale of home or subsequent purchase – general

7.3.16 Purpose

  1. This Division sets out conditions for payment of home purchase or sale expenses allowance (HPSEA). This allowance is for reimbursement of reasonable costs to a member when they do either of the following.

    1. They sell a home they or their dependants had been living in, at the time the member is posted to a new location.

    2. They purchase and occupy a home in a new posting location within four years from the day that they start duty in the new location, and provided that they sell a home described in paragraph a. within two years from the date of issue of the posting order to the new location.

  2. If the member has used the home purchase assistance scheme (HPAS) to purchase a home, they cannot also claim HPSEA for that purchase.

7.3.17 Basis

  1. Eligibility for the reimbursement of costs must begin with the eligible purchase of a home. This may be under HPAS or HPSEA. HPSEA then works as a sell-purchase-sell cycle.

  2. To qualify for reimbursement of costs, an eligible member must purchase or sell a home within certain time limits.

    1. A member who has made an eligible purchase and is then posted to another location has two years to sell the home. The two-year period begins on the date official written notice of the posting is issued.

    2. The member then has four years after they start duty at the new posting location to purchase a home. The claim for reimbursement can be made at any time after the purchase is completed.

7.3.18 Definitions

This table defines terms that apply to this Division.

Definitions
Term Definition in this Division
Purchase of home An eligible person has purchased a home when they do any one of the following.
  1. They sign a contract to purchase it.
  2. They enter into an agreement for it to be built.
  3. They begin to build it, if they are an owner-builder.
Sale of home An eligible person has sold a home when they sign a contract to sell it. An eligible sale is the sale of a home under the conditions of HPSEA.

7.3.19 Conditions of eligibility – sale

A member is eligible for the reimbursement of the costs of selling a home in the losing location when all these conditions are met.

  1. An eligible person lives in the home when official written notice of a posting is issued.

  2. The costs are a result of the member being posted from one location to another.

  3. The member's previous benefit was for purchasing a home.

    Note: Section 7.3.29 explains what happens when this home is at a previous posting location and the member is posted back to that location.

    See: Division 3 section 7.3.29, Posting back to previous location

  4. The home is sold within two years of when official written notice of a posting to the new location is issued.

    See: Section 7.3.23, Time limit on sale and purchase, for more details on time limits

See: Division 3 section 7.3.31, Amounts and kinds of costs that may be reimbursed

7.3.20 Conditions of eligibility – purchase

A member is eligible for the reimbursement of the costs of purchasing a home in the posting location when all these conditions are met.

  1. An eligible person lives in the home.

  2. The purchase costs are a result of the member being posted from one location to another.

  3. The member's previous benefit was for selling a home.

    Note: Section 7.3.29 explains what happens when this home is at a posting the member is returning to.

    See: Division 3 section 7.3.29, Posting back to previous location

  4. The member purchases the home in the period between these two dates.

    1. The date official written notice of the posting is issued.

    2. Four years after they begin duty at the posting location.

  5. It is expected that the member will serve for a further 12 months in the location where they have purchased the home. A member has a further 12 months to serve if they have not been issued with a posting from the location to take effect within 12 months.

  6. If the member is a member with dependants (unaccompanied), it is expected that they will keep that category for the 12-month period.

See: Division 3 section 7.3.31, Amounts and kinds of costs that may be reimbursed

7.3.21 Members not eligible

  1. If either of these conditions applies to a member at the time they purchase a home, they are not eligible for HPSEA.

    1. They have received notice that their continuous full-time service will cease within 12 months.

    2. They have applied to cease continuous full-time service within 12 months.

  2. Note: In the total workforce model, continuous full-time service may be described as service in Service category 6 or 7. A member who is in Service category 3, 4 or 5 and Service option C is also on continuous full-time service.

  3. A member posted overseas is not eligible for assistance with purchasing a home overseas. This is whether they are accompanied or not.

  4. This subsection applies to a member who is required to live in, or occupy a tied or appointment Service residence. While they occupy that accommodation the member is not eligible for assistance to purchase a home at that posting location. They may be eligible again to purchase a home on their next posting.

    Note: For the meaning of tied or appointment Service residence, see Part 6 Division 6.

7.3.22 Continuity of selling and purchasing

  1. After they purchase their first home, an eligible person must maintain continuity of selling and purchasing homes through a series of postings in order to get HPSEA.

  2. This does not mean that a home must be sold or purchased following each posting. The continuity of sale-purchase must be maintained.

    Example: A member gets HPSEA for purchase of a home in Melbourne while on posting there. The member is then posted to Brisbane, occupies a Service residence there and keeps the home in Melbourne. After that, the member is posted to Sydney. They then sell the home in Melbourne and purchase in Sydney. If the sale and purchase are within the specified time limits, the member maintains continuity of the sale-purchase cycle.

    See: Section 7.3.23, Time limit on sale and purchase

  3. However, continuity of the sale-purchase cycle is broken if all the actions shown in this table happen. This table shows the effect on a member's HPSEA benefit.

    Effect on benefits
    Step Action Effect on the sale- purchase cycle Effect on HPSEA
    1. A member gets HPSEA for the purchase of a home in a former posting location. The member relocates. The former home is not sold within the two years from official written notice of posting to a new location. The sale-purchase cycle is broken. The sale does not qualify for HPSEA. It is outside the two-year time limit for sale. Further, the member is excluded from HPSEA for purchasing a home in the new location – Step 2.
    2. The member then purchases a home in the new posting location. The sale-purchase cycle has been broken. The purchase does not qualify for HPSEA. If the member had sold their former home within the specified time limit, the purchase would have qualified for HPSEA.
    3. The member then sells the last home because of posting to another location. The sale takes place within two years of official written notice of posting to the new location. The sale-purchase cycle is re-established. The sale of this home qualifies for HPSEA. The member also qualifies for HPSEA if they purchase a home in the new posting location within the specified time limit.

    See also: Division 3 section 7.3.29, Posting back to previous location. This section sets out the rules that affect the sale-purchase cycle if the member is posted back to their previous posting location.

7.3.23 Time limit on sale and purchase

  1. A member will qualify for reimbursement of the costs of sale of a home, if they sign a contract for sale within two years of the date official written notice of a posting to another location is issued.

    Exception: A member ceasing continuous full-time service will qualify if they sign a contract for sale within 12 months before or after the date they cease continuous full-time service.

  2. The two-year rule does not apply when the posting is to any of the locations in the table below. This is because the member cannot make an eligible purchase there. Those locations are outside the scope of the HPSEA scheme. During a posting period in those locations, the member's HSPEA benefits are in effect suspended and frozen until they are posted to a location that is not included in this table.

    Location outside scheme
    Item If a member is posted to... then their two-year period for sale begins on...
    1. an overseas posting location, whether the posting is accompanied or not
    Exception: An overseas deployment is not a posting for the purposes of this item.
    the date official written notice of their next posting is issued.
    Exception: If the posting is to a specified location in Division 3 section 7.3.28, see item 4 in this table.
    2. a location where the member is required to occupy a Service residence or live in
    3. an adjacent posting location that includes the member's home
    See: Chapter 1 Part 3 Division 1 section 1.3.55, Posting location – within Australia, for details on defined distances for daily travel.
    4. a specified location. These are locations in Australia where an eligible person could not reasonably be expected to purchase a home
    See: Division 3 section 7.3.28, Specified locations
    the date official written notice of their next posting is issued.
    Note: A member may purchase a home at a specified location if they wish. This is outside the HPSEA scheme and the purchase will not qualify for HPSEA. The continuity of the sale-purchase cycle will not be affected.
  3. The member can not make an eligible purchase in the locations listed in subsection 2. Therefore there is no requirement to sell a home in their old location while on posting to one of these locations. The two-year period for selling a home starts on the date of issue of their next official written notice of posting to another location. If that is one of the postings listed subsection 2, the time limit extends again.

    Example: A member is posted overseas. They receive written notice of posting to another location. The new location is not listed in subsection 2 above. They have two years to sell their home in their original location from the date official written notice of posting is issued.

  4. If a member is already some way through a two-year period and they are posted to a location listed in subsection 2, the same applies as in subsection 3 above. The two-year period starts on the date of their next written official posting notice to another location. If that is one of the postings listed in subsection 2, the time limit extends again.

  5. To qualify for reimbursement of costs of purchasing a home, a member must sign a contract to purchase within the period between these two dates.

    1. The date official written notice of the posting is issued.

    2. Four years after beginning duty at the posting location.

  6. This subsection applies to a member with dependants (unaccompanied). When dependants join the member at the new posting location, the eligibility for reimbursement of purchase costs transfers to the new location. Both the two-year period for selling a home in the old location and the four-year period for purchasing one in the new location start from the date the family reunites.

7.3.24 Member of Reserves not eligible

A member of the Reserves on continuous full-time service for a period of less than 12 months is not eligible.

Note: In the total workforce model, a member of the Reserves on continuous full-time service may be described as a member in Service category 3, 4 or 5 and Service option C.

7.3.25 CDF discretion in special circumstances

  1. The CDF may approve reimbursement of an amount to a member who is not otherwise eligible for reimbursement under this Division or Division 3, for Service reasons. The CDF must be satisfied on all these matters.

    1. Approval is reasonable in the light of the Service reasons.

    2. The reimbursement is consistent with the purposes of this Division.

  2. Any amount reimbursed must not be more than what would be payable in the circumstances to a member who is eligible for reimbursement.

Persons who can make the decision under subsection 7.3.25.1 on behalf of the CDF:
First Assistant Secretary People Services
Assistant Director ADF Home Purchase and Prior Service
A person working in the Pay and Administration Branch who is not below EL1

Application to Reservists: Yes, on continuous full-time service longer than 12 months.



Forms

Copies of forms are available on the webforms system or through the Defence Service Centre.

  • AC970, Application for Home Purchase Assistance Scheme (HPAS) or Home Purchase or Sales Expense Allowance

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