One of the most important dates to be drawn into a property sales contract is the anticipated day the sellers are to vacate the premises and allow you to move into it or take possession as a landlord – otherwise known as settlement day.

However, the process can sometimes throw errors, causing a delay to occur, even despite both parties having already signed off on the agreed date the keys will be handed over.

From the seller waiting on the bank to discharge their mortgage, and problems with paperwork, to the buyer discovering a problem in the final inspection of the property, and unforeseen life hurdles getting in the way – the reasons for why settlement delays can occur are wide-ranging – and often stress-inducing.

It is especially stressful if you are a proactive investor who has lined up a tenant to move into the property, as the delay has the potential to impact the new renters.

Fortunately, there are a few legal rights the buyer is disposed to if the seller delays settlement day, whilst of course, also keeping in mind that some problems can’t be helped. There should exist a level of understanding from the buyer depending on what has caused the delay – however, if a delayed settlement truly doesn’t suit you, there is recourse available.

The right course of action all depends on the state you’re purchasing in – but also keep in mind that settlement laws can change and it’s always best to team with a professional conveyancer or solicitor throughout the buying process.


For the full story of how to manage the situation if the seller has delayed settlement, including a state-by-state guide to your legal rights, including proven strategies to get back in control of your financial future, read the complete feature article in the May 2019 edition of Your Investment Property magazine.

On sale at news agencies and Coles supermarkets 11th April to 9th May or download the magazine now.