Natural Disasters and Conveyancing

In Queensland, for conveyancing, time is of the essence meaning if a party fails to settle on the Settlement Date (the agreed date on which the Buyer pays the Balance Purchase Price to the Seller in exchange for title to the Property), then the other party may be entitled to terminate the Contract and claim damages.

Standard condition 6.2 of the REIQ Contract for Houses and Residential Land 13th Edition states that time for the performance of the parties’ settlement obligations is suspended and ceases to be of the essence of the Contract and the parties are deemed not to be in breach of their settlement obligations if a party is unable to perform a settlement obligation solely as a consequence of a Natural Disaster. 

A Natural Disaster means a tsunami, flood, cyclone, earthquake, bushfire or other act of nature. 

When the period during which the affected party remans unable to perform a settlement obligation solely as a consequence of a Natural Disaster (Suspension Period) ends, either party may give the other party written notice and state:

(a)    that the Suspension Period has ended;

(b)   a date being not less than 5 nor more than 10 Business Days after the date the notice is given which shall become the new Settlement Date; and

(c)    that time is of the essence;

(Notice to Settle).

When a Notice to Settle is given, time is again of the essence of the Contract.

In the event that you are involved in a sale or purchase of a property that is affected by a Natural Disaster, the  REIQ Contract for Houses and Residential Land 13th Edition addresses such situations, which should reduce the uncertainty for the parties often associated with Natural Disasters.

Get in touch with a trusted team of legal experts at CBC Lawyers who are fully versed in such situations.

Email: cbc@cbclawyers.com.au

Phone: 07 4772 3644