(23.12.2015) Residential Property Contracts: What effect do the holidays have?

Under the standard terms of the “REIQ Contract for Houses and Residential Land”, “business day” is defined to mean a day, other than a Saturday, Sunday, public holiday, or a day in the period between 27 to 31 December (inclusive).

Condition or Settlement Date

gingerbreadhouseThis means that a condition that is contained in a Contract (such as a building & pest inspection or finance date), or the settlement date, cannot be due on 27 to 31 December 2015 or 1 to 3 January 2016.

Any condition or settlement which falls on these dates will automatically be due on the next business day, which is 4 January 2016.

Cooling-Off Period

A 5 day cooling-off period applies to residential property contracts, which usually starts on the day a buyer (or his or her representative) receives a fully signed copy of the contract.

For fully signed contracts that arrive on a weekend or public holiday, the cooling-off period starts on the next business day. However, 29, 30 & 31 December 2015 do not count as weekends or public holidays for the purpose of calculating the cooling-off period.

Therefore, if you receive a fully signed contract before, or over, the Christmas and New Year break, and want to terminate it under the cooling-off period, you should immediately obtain legal advice regarding what steps are open to you.

Detailed information regarding the closure of our conveyancing division over the holidays can be viewed here. If you have an urgent matter that needs to be attended to during this period, please contact our office on (07) 4616 9600 for details of an after hours telephone number.