QLD Property Law - Land Seller Refusing Contract Extension?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now

Shafaqat Ali

31 August 2017
Good Afternoon

I am renting a house in Queensland, by profession I am a Software Engineer.

I have been renting different houses for last 5 years and last year planned to own a house. I started looking for existing houses but finally made up my mind for a new house construction.

Spent months visiting display homes and then decided how much I can spend. Also started looking for land blocks. I found a block of land advertised on a real estate web site and contacted the seller in February this year and he replied that land registration is subject to council approval and it is possible it will happen end of the this year and around same time civil work will commence.

In April/June a property group based in Brisbane contacted me and they said they can help me in this process with a fee which I paid them upfront.

One of their consultant started to contact the land seller and we were able to sign a contract on 8th of June with the help of a Solicitor. According to contract, I had to pay a holding deposit of $1000 (refundable) and we get time of 2 months from the date of contract to arrange the finance. We started talking to Brokers to get the deals and after one month we were able to get the conditional pre approval.

Suddenly after a month, the property group told me that I have to finalize the build as well before the contract ending date, so we can do both land and build together and it is easy and cost effective as well. I told them that it would be difficult to finalize the build just in a month but still we started talking to the builder.

Just the week before the contract ending date, I was advised that we will get an extension from the land seller because civil work has not started yet. I told them that I don’t want to lose the land block and I am happy to go ahead with land part only but they advised it is better to go with both land and construction. Property group consultant talked to the land seller over the phone and he told me that 2 weeks extension has been granted and now we can focus the construction.

On 8th of August, last date of our contract, I got an email from our Solicitor that she has been advised for the extension and she is now going to email the land seller’s Solicitor.

On 9th of August morning, I got email from my seller that the client has refused to extend the contract and contract is now finished on finance clause and he has sold land to another buyer.

I spoke to property group agent and he told that I can now go with unconditional finance. That means bank will buy the land and my instalment will start. I said OK.

Solicitor asked for a new unconditional contract but seller refused and they offered me another block of land in same estate, but I refused because that land comes in declared flood zone and there are lot of build restriction as well.

So land is gone, I have got my deposit back.

Do you guys think there is a problem on my side or there is no problem and this is how it works?

If what they did is not legal, can I do anything under property law? Or I just have to move on now?


LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
The answer is in the detail of your various agreements and correspondence. Needs a lawyer to read and evaluate.

It is a bit like describing the operation of a software application, describing a bug, and asking them to find the bug without having access to the software code.

Rob Legat - SBPL

LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
Gold Coast, Queensland
As Rod said, the contracts would need to be checked against the circumstances. Based on what you've said, it could be that something untoward has happened, but there's no way of telling for sure without a full dissection.