Cooling off on a building contract

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Your client has five business days after receiving a signed copy of the building contract to change their mind. This is the ‘cooling-off’ period. It starts from the date your client received the signed copy, regardless of when they signed the contract.

If the contract did not include the Cooling-off period notices required by law (Word, 91KB), your client has seven days after realising the contract should have included the cooling-off notice to withdraw.

To cool off, your client must put their decision to withdraw from the contract in writing. The law sets out how they must deliver this to you. They must either:

  • give it to you
  • leave it at your address as stated in the contract
  • serve it on you in the way stated in the contract.

You can keep $100 and the cost of out-of-pocket expenses incurred and approved by the client, before they withdrew. You must refund all other money.

If your client ‘cools off’, they are not liable to you in any way for withdrawing from the contract.

Your client does not get a cooling-off period if they:

  • previously entered into a major domestic building contract with you on the same terms for the same home or land (the contract can differ slightly but not significantly)
  • engaged a lawyer to check the contract before they signed.

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