What Is "Cooling Off" & When Does It Apply?

Posted on May 3, 2007 by | 0 Comments

Consumers Beware!According to Section 31 of the Sale of Land Act a purchaser who signs a contract or contract note for the purchase of real estate can terminate the contract within 3 clear business days from the day the purchaser signed it.

The sale must be for land other than land used primarily for commercial or industrial purposes, and land larger than 20 hectares used primarily for farming.

In addition to these restrictions, there is no cooling off right if:


  • The sale is at or within 3 clear business days before or after a publicly advertised auction;

  • The parties have previously entered into a contract for the same property in similar circumstances;

  • The purchaser received independent legal advice from a lawyer before signing the contract;

  • The purchaser is an estate agent or a corporate body (e.g. a company); or

  • The sale is at or within 3 clear business days before or after a publicly advertised auction;
NOTE: It is most important to remember that the cooling off period starts when the PURCHASER first signs the contract, even though the vendor may not sign until a few days later!


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