Contract and Equity in Land Dealings (LAWS5122)


This unit deals with the principles relating to entry into, performance, and remedies for breach of contracts for the sale of land. While conveyancing is sometimes regarded as a mere matter of form filling and rote-learned procedures, it is one of the oldest and most complex areas of law, and requires the application of skill and strategy in deploying legal principles in practice. Modern conveyancing involves the application of an elaborate mix of real property, equity, and contract law concepts, and also principles of interpretation. The course will also deal with elements of the national system of electronic convenyancing. The unit of study is designed to provide the theoretical foundations necessary for expertise in commercial practice. The first part of the course deals with the formation of an enforceable contract for sale, including exchange of contract, identification of the subject-matter of the sale, and obligation of disclosure by vendors under common law and statute, and a brief treatment of statutory remedies under the Australian Consumer Law concerning land dealings. The second section deals with the law relating to the performance of the contract for sale intself, focussing on the standard form of contract for the sale of land in New South Wales. Special attention is paid in this section to the law relating to deposits, defects, the consequences of misdiscription of the land, and the legality of structures upon the land. The third section deals with the remedies available to vendors and purchasers, including notices to complete, specific performance, breach and termination, and relief against forfeiture.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x2hr seminars/wk


3000wd research essay (40%) and take-home exam (60%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge




Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.