In Queensland, the cooling-off period is a 5 business day period that applies to contracts for the sale of residential property.
It allows for a Buyer to withdraw from a contract within the cooling-off period. The cooling-off period does not apply to Sellers.
When does the cooling-off period commence?
The cooling-off period commences the day that a buyer, or their solicitor, receives a copy of the fully signed contract. It does not commence on the date that the contract is signed. Sometimes an agent may take several days to send a fully executed contract, and if this occurs, the cooling-off period does not commence until the contract is received by the Buyer or their Solicitor.
For example, if a contract is fully signed and then provided to the Buyer on a Monday, the cooling off period ends on the Friday. It is 5 business days including the date of receipt, not 5 business days from the date of receipt.
For a contract that has been received by the Buyer on a weekend or public holiday, the cooling-off period commence on the next business day.
The cooling-off period ends at 5pm on the 5th business day. Cooling-off period legislation varies from state to state, so other states may have shorter or longer periods.
Are there any circumstances where the cooling-off period does not apply?
The following contracts are exempt from the cooling-off period:
- A sale by auction, or a follow-up sale after auction where the buyer was a registered bidder;
- Commercial property contracts;
- Option contracts;
- Where the buyer is a publicly listed corporation, or a state or statutory body;
- Where the buyer is purchasing at least 3 lots at the same time (regardless of whether they are in the same contract); and
- Where the buyer has expressly waived their right to a cooling-off period.
Are there any consequences if I terminate a contract within the cooling-off period?
Yes, there can be. See our blog in relation to such consequences for further information.
If you require assistance terminating a contract under the cooling-off period, or have queries about your cooling-off rights, please get in touch with us here.
The information provided in this article is for general information and educative purposes in summary form on legal topics which is current at the time it is published. The content does not constitute legal advice or recommendations and should not be relied upon as such. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this article, FC Lawyers cannot accept responsibility for any errors, including those caused by negligence, in the material. We make no representations, statements or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information and you should not rely on it. You are advised to make your own independent inquiries regarding the accuracy of any information provided on this website. FC Lawyers does not guarantee, and accepts no legal responsibility whatsoever arising from or in connection to the accuracy, reliability, currency, correctness or completeness of any material contained in this article. Links to third party websites or articles does not constitute any endorsement or approval of those sites or the owners of those sites. Nothing in this article should be construed as granting any licence or right for you to use that content. You should consult the third party’s terms and conditions of use in relation to any third-party content. FC Lawyers disclaims all responsibility and all liability (including liability for negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you might incur as a result of the information being inaccurate or incomplete in any way. Appropriate legal advice should always be obtained in actual situations.
Prefer to get in touch?
With offices in Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Sydney, our team is well equipped to provide both advice and support across a broad range of legal areas.