The Queensland District Court recently found against a buyer of
three vacant land lots in Mackay, who attempted to avoid settlement
on the basis of verbal discussions and claims of hardship, and
ordered the buyer to settle the contracts.
Seller reinstates contracts after buyer waives finance
The seller terminated for failure of the buyer to notify
regarding finance within the required timeframe. The seller then
agreed to reinstate the contracts on the basis that the buyer
waived the benefit of the finance condition (which duly
Third-party buyer risk and seller's position on connecting
The contracts specifically noted that:
A substitute third-party buyer could be located by the
contracted buyer to effect settlement, but whether the third-party
buyer effected settlement would be at the risk of the contracted
The seller did not promise that telephone and electricity
services to the lots would be in place by settlement of the
Buyer claims contracts incorporate oral terms
The buyer attempted to argue that these oral terms were
incorporated into the contracts:
The seller was told that one of the purchase contracts was
being entered into so that substitute buyers could be located in
order to effect settlement.
The seller was told that substitute buyers would only be
located for one of the lots once services (including
telecommunications and electricity services) were connected to the
Services would be connected to one of the lots, and a residence
constructed on the lot, before settlement of the relevant purchase
contract was to occur.
The buyer avoided settlement on the basis that these verbal
terms had not been satisfied as at the date of settlement.
Written purchase contracts constitute whole of the
The court found that the written purchase contracts constituted
the whole of the agreement between the parties, noting that the
verbal discussions that had apparently occurred between the buyer
and the seller were not reflected in the terms of the purchase
contracts that were signed.
Financial hardship claimed, but court finds settlement order
The buyer tried to argue that it should not be forced to
complete the purchase contracts on the basis that the buyer did not
have the funds, nor could it source funds, to do so. If the buyer
was successful in this argument, the court could have ordered an
award of damages in favour of the seller.
However, the court considered the evidence provided by the buyer
of its financial affairs and declined to find that an order forcing
the buyer to settle the purchase contracts would be
Buyer ordered to settle the purchase
The buyer was ordered to settle the purchase of the three
contracts within 60 days of the court order.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
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