Release of Deposit

A release of deposit is an important part of the conveyancing process. However, confusion regarding the deposit can lead to misunderstandings and other issues. An experienced conveyancing firm in QLD will know how to handle the deposit; however, it is still helpful to have a basic understanding about how the process works beforehand. Below, you will find some basic, clear information about what the law says regarding deposits.


Ways to Handle the Release of Deposit

The Basics

The first thing that you need to understand is that there is no single “correct” way to return a deposit. The manner in which it proceeds will depend on the specifics of the situation. However, there is a handful of ways in which release of deposit is generally handled. By learning about these ways, you can more easily recognise if something is amiss during the process.


Settlement of Contract – If the contract is settled to everyone’s satisfaction and according to plan, the deposit is usually released to the seller. After all, the deposit is designed to be a down payment, of sorts, on the property that the buyer would like to purchase. Most of the time, this is the way that the deposit is released. Of course, there are plenty of exceptions to this situation, which is why it helps to study up a little.


Default – Clause 2.4 of the REIQ Contract sets forth specific rules concerning default of contract. If the buyer defaults on the contract, the deposit is released to the seller. This is precisely why a deposit is made – to protect the financial interests of both parties. When a buyer defaults, it wastes the seller’s time and money. The deposit can be used to recoup some of that. If the contract is terminated without default, though, the deposit is usually returned to the buyer. By reading Clause 2.4, you can get a much clearer idea about this situation.


Written Authorisation – Sometimes, deposit is released after both parties agree, in writing, to doing so. This could happen for any number of reasons. The important thing is that it is clearly defined and written out so that there is no confusion.


Disputes – The seller’s solicitor or agent is charged with holding the deposit. If a dispute of any kind arises, he should hold the deposit in trust until it is resolved. Once both parties inform him that the dispute has been resolved, he may release the deposit.


Any situation that involves large sums of money can easily become tense. The deposit that is used in the conveyancing process is designed to alleviate some of that tension. By understanding the basics about how a deposit can be released, you can have a much less confusing experience.

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Andrew Francey


Chief Operating Officer

Andrew has over two decades experience in high growth fast moving consumer goods, agribusiness and professional services. Supporting the Ownit team to deliver on client expectations, and implementing processes to scale the organisation, is a key focus for Andrew.

Andrew is a C-Suite leader with Chairman and Board experience.  He has formal qualifications in Business, Applied Finance and AICD Company Directors Course.

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