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"That contract's not worth the paper its written on".  I understand that this is how people may feel, when they have  taken the time to make a contract, yet a dispute arises anyway.  Nevertheless this statement is rarely true, where a contract is properly drafted.

The point of a contract is to provide the parties to the contract, with a starting point, in case there is a  disagreement.  It is not the case that a White Knight will ride in, to put things right, when the terms of the contract are broken.  If the agreement is properly drafted there will be a good number of matters on which it is more difficult to have an argument.  Yet there will remain scope for an argument and it is up to you to enforce your rights.  You will see below there are things that you can do to make a dispute less likely.

If you are borrowing in the name of a company your bank will always require the directors and sometimes others to personally guarantee the obligations of your company. If the bank requires a guarantee from someone who is not a director or from someone that they suspect gets no benefit from the loan then they may insist that the guarantors get legal advice.  This is done by insisting that a lawyer give a certificate confirming that the lawyer has provided legal advice. Lawyers are not keen to give this advice for a number of reasons: 1. Lexon is the company that provides insurance to all Queensland lawyers.  Lexon sees the issuing of these certificates as risky. 2. Many of the clauses in the bank guarantees are inherently unfair.

The Competition and Consumer Act makes "unfair" contract terms void. If a clause is void it cannot be enforced.

Business people should review their standard form contracts regularly to ensure that they are fair. Consumers should be aware that they may not be bound by the terms of any contract that they have entered into if those terms are not fair. In order for the act to make an unfair contract term void, the contract must be a consumer contract and the contract must be  in standard form. A consumer contract is a contract for the supply, to an individual of goods or services or land for  reasons of personal, household or domestic use or consumption. It is hard to be sure what a standard form contract is. It is likely however that any contract which is based on a document prepared in advance of any negotiations, that is little changed as a result of negotiations or the considerations of the particular circumstances are likely to be standard form contracts.

Many people wrongly believe that if an agreement is not put in writing they are not required to honour the agreement. This is incorrect (except for some exceptions, one of which is noted below).  A verbal agreement may be enforced by either party to the agreement regardless of whether that agreement is in writing.  So be careful what you agree!

The difficulty you may have guessed is, proving what was agreed.  Indeed we see many agreements, even written agreements that are very unclear. There is sometimes so little detail or, so little care taken, that it is difficult to know what the parties are intending.

Most transactions whether for the sale of property or a business include at least two or three important dates. These dates are:

1. The date that the contract is signed by the parties to that contract

2. The date that special conditions are satisfied

3. The date that the contract reaches settlement or completion. The completion date and the settlement date are different words, used to describe the same thing.

Which of these dates do authorities rely upon when determining the date of the sale?

If you are a business that rents premises then you should urgently have a lawyer check to see if your lease is secure.

In some areas of Queensland small commercial landlords might be under strain and business owners may as a result lose their business.  Below we have set out the steps that you can take to make sure that your business is not affected. Unfortunately  many leases in Queensland are not protected as Section 66 of the Land Title Act has been ignored or forgotten.   If the landlord is put into insolvency or bankruptcy then the commercial tenants may be in serious trouble.

A bank wanting to sell business premises does not necessarily want to keep the business in place, particularly if they believe that they can get a better deal with the tenant gone. This may be so if a buyer wants to redevelop or renovate or the buyer wants to occupy the property themselves.