Are adjoining blocks exempt from the assets test?

Bianca is about to apply for the Age Pension and has some questions about the exemptions for primary residence.

couple looking at their property

Q. Bianca
My husband, 66, and myself, 65, fully own our home and the adjoining block which we have combined in a way, because the second block has fruit trees, bore water, gazebo, barbeque, clothesline, cubby house, etc.

I will be applying for the Age Pension in February and have asked a real estate agent for a title search as our council has put both blocks on the one rate notice (though both are listed as lots). The title search shows only one block and mentions the parent title. Will Centrelink reduce our pension as we have another title? Can we pay for titles to be combined now and split the titles when selling?

A. For your property to be exempt from the asset test it must be on a single title. If your property only displayed one block when you did a title search you may need to consult a property expert on how this will be assessed by Centrelink.

In limited situations, more than one title can be regarded as exempt curtilage. Land held on separate titles can be treated as if on one title if:

  • the principal home is straddled over two blocks
  • the blocks, taken together, are protected under law (e.g. indigenous heritage)
  • the function of the house as a dwelling-house would be undermined if the other block was alienated. This does not apply if structures such as swimming pools, gardens, tennis courts and garages, etc., are situated on the other block, as these are not considered essential for the house to function as a dwelling.

    Where the land was previously held on multiple titles, and these were merged into one title after 9 May 2006, the land may only be able to be exempt if it can be proved that merging the titles improved the person's capacity to generate an income from the land. The effective land use test is failed if:

    • the amalgamation of titles prevented the person from selling land (that was previously on a separate title) to support themselves, or
    • the purpose of the titles being merged was to gain access to the exemption.

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        Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a Centrelink Financial Information Services officer, financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    30th Dec 2019
    What if the bore was connected to the house by means of reticulation to provide 'essential' water to the house?
    30th Dec 2019
    A pension is not welfare.

    Now is the season for discontent, so do something about it!
    It is time to kill off this insane hugely expensive pensioner whacking bureaucracy.

    It is time for all of us (yes that means you) to rant at our MPs and Senators daily to take action for human decency and a huge stress reduction for pensioners

    Most economist say we will save taxpayers money by dropping asset testing because of the massive overheads cost in running Centrelink and the 10,000 conflicting rules.

    Hiring more Centrelink staff will only increase taxpayer’s costs for processing the creeping insane red tape monster system politicians and well paid bureaucrats have created.

    Help scrap it now. Become a hero.

    Even the UK and poorer New Zealand has a NO ASSET pension, so it is cheaper and user friendly.

    Why worry that few million$ earners get it too. That is peanuts to them, not enough for a good vintage champagne.

    Do retired and retiring people really look forward and want 100++ visits to/from Centrelink and be hassled by their crazed robo-debt scam and then waste even more time in the 3 million people waiting queues and more lost calls?

    We all (that means you) need to tell our MP and senators every day that these criminal asset tests for a pension must be dropped now.

    Ask your MP do they really like being part of the system that allows this indirect abuse of the elderly?

    This abuse is actually sponsored by our government and forced down to Centrelink and borders on a criminal act.

    Why do MPs normally compassionate persons let this Centrelink abuse happen at taxpayers’ expense?
    30th Dec 2019
    Totally agree with you GC but it will never happen. Our MP's regardless of there wealth and assetts will still get their massive pensions and all the other perks to go with it. They really don't care about the rest of the population, it all about them.
    30th Dec 2019
    OMG! GrayComputing, you have said it soooooooooo well!
    I totally agree with you. The expenses required to check constantly on everyone's assets & income must be astronomical. It would save the government a fortune if everyone were simply given the Aged Pension. There would be no "part pensions", no constant reporting, etc, etc. And it is only going to get worse as the Australian aging population increases.
    Give everyone the aged pension!
    How do we get this petition to the gvt. started?
    30th Dec 2019
    Nailed it GrayComputing!!!!!!!!!!!!
    On the Ball
    30th Dec 2019
    Fliss wrote:
    "How do we get this petition to the gvt. started?"

    a ten-word, two letters each, slogan...
    "If it is to be, it is up to me"...
    Jump over to Easy as..

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