Housing Grants Appeals

Below is a listing of appeals heard by the South Australian Civil & Administration Tribunal (SACAT) in relation to housing grant matters since August 2017.

Shipley v Treasurer for the State of South Australia, Commissioner for State Taxation (2018/SA002875)

Date of Decision: 3 December 2018

Orders: The Tribunal affirmed the decisions under review.

Decision:

The Tribunal affirmed the decisions of the Treasurer and the Commissioner of State Taxation to deny an application for the Seniors Housing Grant (SHG) on the basis that the applicant did not commence an eligible transaction during the eligibility period.

The applicant signed a comprehensive home building contract prior to the abolition of the SHG, however a representative of the builder did not countersign the contract until after abolition. Unless the parties held a different intention, a contract was not “made” for the purposes of the SHG until the final signature was applied.

The Tribunal concluded that the signing of the contract by the applicant did not create a contract, but instead constituted an offer to the builder which required acceptance. In the Tribunal’s view, the builder did not consider itself legally bound by the contract until it had been signed on its behalf. It was clear that the builder maintained the right to decline to sign the contract and to then produce a substantially different contract to the applicant. Furthermore, it was apparent that the contract was drafted with the provisions of the Building Work Contractors Act 1995 in mind (Section 28 of that Act requires that such a contract be in writing and signed by both parties).

Catchwords: HOUSING CONSTRUCTION GRANT – comprehensive home building contract – eligible transaction – owner builder – transaction commencement date

Case Summary: Decision not published in this case.

Williams v Treasurer for the State of South Australia, Commissioner for State Taxation (2017/SA001110)

Date of Decision: 8 August 2017

Orders: 1. The Tribunal affirms the decisions under review.

Decision: The Tribunal affirmed the decisions of the Treasurer and Commissioner of State Taxation to deny an application for the Housing Construction Grant (HCG) on the basis that the applicant did not commence an eligible transaction during the eligibility period.

The ‘Supervision Only (Project Management) Housing Work Contract’ executed by the applicant was not a ‘comprehensive home building contract’ for the purposes of the HCG. As such, the applicant was classified as an owner builder whose eligible transaction did not commence until foundations were laid.

The Tribunal also concluded that there was no sufficient reason to exercise the statutory discretion to vary the applicant’s transaction commencement date (to make it the date of the contract). Executive Member Stevens stated that the date of the applicant’s contract bore no relation to the date when foundations were laid and that such an exercise of the discretion would potentially circumvent the legislative distinction between applicants who enter into comprehensive home building contracts and those who are owner builders.

Catchwords: HOUSING CONSTRUCTION GRANT – comprehensive home building contract – supervision only contract – eligible transaction – owner builder – transaction commencement date

Case Summary: Decision not published in this case.