A Williams Landing resident has been ordered to pay back an $18,000 first home owners grant.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal last week issued the order in the case of Hussein Hassan Afi versus the commissioner of state revenue.

The tribunal heard Mr Afi had received the grant in September, 2011, but that the commissioner determined he had to return the money last year.

The commissioner’s legal team argued that Mr Afi did not use the house as his principal place of residence for a continuous period of six months within 12 months of the building being ready for occupation, which is a requirement of receiving the first home owners grant

The commissioner’s counsel said Mr Afi did not use the property as his principal residence until 2013.

Mr Afi’s solicitor said his client had begun living at the home in July, 2011.

But VCAT member Elisabeth Wentworth said that between that date and May, 2012, Mr Afi did no more than sleep at the house and “keep an eye on it”.

Ms Wentworth said that although Mr Afi had occupied the property as his principal place of residency since late 2013, he had not satisfied the residence requirement needed to receive a first home owners grant, and must pay the money back.