If a person owns a property which is his or her principal place of residence and then marries or enters into a relationship, then Revenue NSW allows the transfer of that property to the couple jointly (whether as joint tenants or as tenants in common in equal shares) and no stamp duty is payable. The couple must sign a Statutory Declaration to the effect that the property is their principal place of residence or in respect of vacant land, that it is intended to be used as the site for their family home and it will be the principal place of residence. In that event there is no duty payable.
In respect of a couple in a de facto marriage, the couple must be living together for at least two years before making an application for the exemption.
This concession by Revenue NSW can be utilised where the person who owns the property wants to make provision for his/her spouse or partner to ensure that the property passes to him or her on his death. This can be particularly useful where there is a blended family and there is a threat of a contested Will application from children from a first marriage and the husband and wife are endeavouring to protect the second spouse after he or she dies.