Before you invest in Australian residential land, you may need to apply for foreign investment approval.
After you invest, you need to register your residential land (asset) on the Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets (the Register) using Online services for foreign investors. You must also comply with your foreign investment obligations.
A residential land (asset) may include:
- vacant land
- new or near new dwellings
- established dwellings.
You must also register a legal interest as lessee in a lease giving rights to occupy residential land if the term of the lease (including any extension or renewal) is reasonably likely, at the time the interest is acquired, to exceed 5 years.
Registration is required regardless of value.
Registering an asset is free.
Who must register
If you are a foreign person and have invested in Australian residential land (asset), you or your authorised representative must register the asset, unless an exemption applies.
Generally, the person with the direct legal interest is required to register their residential land asset with the ATO.
If you have direct legal interest and own the property jointly with other foreign persons, one owner must register the asset first. Other foreign owners in the joint tenant ownership will then add themselves to the registered asset.
You need to decide which owner will register the property (usually the first owner listed on the application form). Once registered, that owner will need to give the other joint tenants the Asset ID. They will then add themselves to the asset.
Once all foreign owners are added, any owner can access and update the registered asset details.
Tenants in common
If you own the property with others and are assigned specific ownership, then each person who is a foreign person must register the asset with their percentage of ownership.
When to register
A foreign person or their authorised representative must register the asset within 30 days of the date of an event occurring (such as settlement).
Settlement generally means that you either can:
- occupy the property if there is a dwelling on the land
- commence building if it is a piece of vacant land that you have purchased.
If you have signed a contract and have not yet taken possession of the property, wait until settlement to register.
You must tell us by registering on Online services for foreign investors if you:
- are a foreign person and have obtained an interest (other than an equitable interest) in Australian residential property
- become a foreign person while holding an interest (other than an equitable interest) in Australian residential property.
Registrations we held before 26 June 2023 are available in Online services for foreign investors.
You need to update your details in the Register if your situation changes.
To register, log in to Online services for foreign investors and select Register asset.
For more information on registering and for joint tenants to add themselves to the asset, see Register or manage an asset.
If you own multiple properties, each property must be registered separately.Online services for foreign investors
You need to update your asset or profile in Online services for foreign investors if:
- you’re no longer a foreign person
- you no longer hold residential property
- the property becomes residential while you are holding it
- the property ceases to be residential while you are holding it
- details of the registration changes, such as partial divestment, address or title details.
- personal details change, update your profile – see Manage your details
- asset details change, update the asset using Add or Edit an event – see Register or manage an asset.
If you do not comply with your obligation to give a register notice or keep your details up to date, you may face an infringement notice or civil penalties.
If you think you have breached your foreign investment obligation, contact us as soon as possible.
If you have information about someone you think may be deliberately breaking our foreign investment rules, you can confidentially report a breach to us.
We use our compliance approach to ensure foreign investors comply with their obligations.
The Registrar provides a report to the Treasurer about the operation of the Register. They publish aggregate statistics of foreign ownership.
The reported statistics may include:
- number of acquisitions and divestments
- value of foreign held residential land
- land use of foreign held residential land
- value of foreign held residential land by country of ownership.
Only aggregated statistics are included in the report. Privacy restrictions prevent publishing information which may identify an individual or entity.
You can view the latest report on the Foreign InvestmentExternal Link website.Register your interest or investment if you are a foreign person investing in Australian residential land.