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Changes to Cooling Off Periods - January 2011

On 1 October 2010, a number of changes were introduced to the way documents for the sale of land were to be assembled and presented under the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act.

One of the major changes under the Act, is that the 5-day cooling off period for residential contracts now commences once the buyer has received a fully signed copy of the contract or once the buyer has signed the contract, if they are the last to sign.

Another change sees the relaxation of the strict requirements associated with Form 30c – Buyer’s Warning Statement. Now, a Form 30c Warning Statement that substantially complies with the Act and is attached to the contract – whether to the first page or otherwise - will be valid. In addition to this, a contract with amendments to the terms and conditions does not require a new Form 30c – a new form will now only be needed when there are changes to the parties of the contract.

These changes make forwarding contracts via email easier, as the Form 30c now only needs to be sent in the same email as the contract as opposed to previously having the contract and the Form 30c sent as one attachment.

When the seller or their agent presents the contract to the buyer, it is necessary to draw the buyer’s attention to the Form 30c Warning Statement and the contract. If the agent fails to do this, a buyer may still not terminate the contract if the Form 30c was signed before the contract.

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