Both the First Home Owner Grant and First Home Plus Schemes have residency requirements.
Under the First Home Owner Grant Scheme, at least one applicant must occupy the home as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of six months commencing within 12 months of settlement or construction of the home.
Under First Home Plus and First Home Plus One, if you are buying an existing home:
at least one of the eligible purchasers must occupy the property as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least six months, with that occupation starting within 12 months after completion of the agreement or transfer.
in the case of vacant land, the Chief Commissioner must be satisfied the vacant block of land is intended to be used as the site of a home to be occupied as the principal place of residence of one of the eligible purchasers.
Note: An exemption from the residency requirement may be available where an applicant was a member of the permanent forces of the Australian Defence Force and all applicants were enrolled on the NSW electoral roll as at the commencement date of the eligible transaction.
If, for some reason, you are unable to move into your new home within 12 months and still intend to occupy it as your principal place of residence, you must forward an application to the Chief Commissioner for an extension of time before the end of the 12 month period. The Chief Commissioner does have the discretion to extend the time for you to move in and his decision will be based on the merits of your claim.
If, after receiving a first home benefit, you are unable to move into your new home at all, due to circumstances outside your control, you should apply to the Chief Commissioner for consideration of waiving the residency requirement, as soon as you are aware of such circumstances.
If the residency requirement is not met and you have not been granted an extension of time or had the requirements waived, then within 14 days of the end of the 12 month period you must :
give written notice of this fact to the Chief Commissioner, and
pay back the grant and/or relevant duty to the Chief Commissioner. The relevant duty is the amount you saved as a result of an exemption or concession on transfer and mortgage duty.