- Property solicitors should pay particular attention to the issue of Land Tax Certificates where a contract is made in one calendar year but settles, or is scheduled to settle, in a subsequent year.
- Deemed conditions that arise under s 52A of the Conveyancing Act 1919 may preclude a vendor terminating a contract if a recent Land Tax Certificate has not been obtained.
- The implied condition cannot be excluded by a contractual provision (nor can certain other conditions implied by the Regulation).
While it is still early in a new calendar year, it is important to remind solicitors of the risks that arise when a contract is made in one calendar year but settles, or is scheduled to settle, in a subsequent year; and, more broadly, the risks associated with implied terms.
A recent Lawcover claim
Recently, Lawcover dealt with a claim arising from the termination of a Contract for Sale of Land. Contracts for sale of a residential property were exchanged in March 2018 and provided for settlement in December 2018. At that time, the contract was varied to provide for settlement in February 2019. The purchaser did not complete and the vendor’s solicitor served a Notice of Termination. The purchaser asserted the notice amounted to a repudiation; accepted the repudiation and ended the contract; and sought the return of the deposit. The property was later re-sold at a lower price.