Like any contracts, once signed, both parties have an obligation to settle the contract by the appointed date. If the buyer is not able to do so, then generally you as the seller can enforce your rights against the buyer. This means that you would be able to claim penalty interest and damages caused by the buyer due to the delay. You can only claim reasonably foreseeable loss and have an obligation to mitigate loss when making a claim.
In any case, noting that settlement date is practically an important to the parties because they are likely to have shaped the few weeks of their lives around the settlement date, it is important to also consider the practical impacts of a delayed settlement and do what is required to put it back on track. This may involve some investigation on the delay to understand the root cause. If you are uncertain on what to do during this type of scenario, you should consider engaging a conveyancing lawyer to help you through the situation. Better yet, make sure you engage a conveyancing lawyer who can help to reduce the chances of a delay to settlement by pre-empting problems before they become one.
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