December 21, 2023

What Happens To Contracts Over The Christmas Break 2023-2024?

If you’ve gone under contract to buy or sell residential property in the weeks prior to Christmas, you’re probably wondering what happens to your contract while everything shuts down over the holiday period!


The standard REIQ contract defines a ‘business day’ as any day excluding weekends, public holidays, or the 27th to the 31th of December.

Critical milestone dates such as due dates for finance, building and pest conditions, or settlement, that would otherwise fall on one of these non-business days will automatically be postponed until the next business day.

That means that contract conditions due between Christmas Day and the 1st of January will move to the 2nd of January automatically.

The Cooling Off Period and the Christmas Break in Queensland?

Standard contracts for the sale of residential property in Queensland usually include a cooling off period of five business days, unless the property has sold at auction, the cooling off period has been waived, or another exception applies.

The definition of a ‘non-business day’ as it pertains to the Christmas break does not apply to the cooling off period. Over the Christmas break, the cooling off period will continue to run on any days that are not weekends or public holidays.

This means that even though due dates in the contract are paused from Christmas Day to the 1st of January, the cooling off period will continue to run during the period 27th – 31st December.

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory, any contract conditions set to fall due on a day that is not a ‘working day’ will automatically fall due the next working day.

A working day is any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday. This means that any conditions due on the 24th-26th of December will be carried over to the 27th of December, and any conditions falling due on 1 January 2024 will automatically fall due instead on 2 January 2024.

More Questions?

If you have entered into a contract that runs over the Christmas period and you would like to know more about how these rules apply to you, give our experienced conveyancing lawyers a call today – we are more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

The above is not legal advice and is general information only.