What is a Notice to Complete?

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What actually is it?

A notice to complete is most commonly issued during the sale and purchase of businesses and property. When parties fail to complete the contract by the agreed completion date, the notice can be issued.

What does a notice to complete entail?

The sender sends the notice to complete to the receiver who is the recipient of the notice. It can be faxed, sent by post or delivered by person to the receiver. It can be sent through other mediums such as email if it has been previously disclosed and discussed. The sender can send the notice after the completion date. However, this is only if they were ready, willing and able to complete their side of the contract. This means the sender could send the notice the day after the completion date or a lot after. By sending it, the sender is forcing the receiver to hurry for settlement.

The notice to complete requires the receiver to complete the contract within the timeframe stipulated in the contract. The receiver is often given 14 days to complete their side of the contract.

What are the consequences?

By the sender issuing the notice to complete, it makes the deadline an essential term of the contract. Hence, if the receiver fails to complete the contract in time, there may be serious consequences for them as they have breached a term of the agreement. The incompletion can eventuate in serious consequences such as the sender terminating the contract via termination. Although, in some cases the sender may wish to continue with the contract despite the receiver not completing their side of the contract if it ends up being more beneficial.

A receiver may be capable of disputing the notice to complete in some situations. If the sender was not ready, willing and able to settle the contract on completion and it was not explicit, it can be contested. Furthermore, if both parties had agreed to the receiver receiving an extension to complete the contract, the notice should not be issued until that time has lapsed.

If you are hoping to issue or have received a notice and need legal guidance, a business purchase and sale lawyer will be able to assist you. You can also contact a conveyancing lawyer to assist you if it is in relation to property.

Don’t know where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about customising legal documents and obtaining a fixed-fee quote from Australia’s largest legal marketplace.

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