Lay-by agreements

Lay-by sales are contracts between a retail store and a consumer. The trader holds onto the goods while the consumer pays in regular instalments until the full price is paid.  

Terms and conditions

Stores must display their lay-by terms and conditions. Make sure you understand those conditions before you lay-by any goods.

The lay-by agreement must be in writing and state the terms and conditions. They should include all of the following:

  • the amount of deposit and the date you must pay it off by
  • the regular amount you must pay
  • their cancellation policy, which should include how much money they will keep if you cancel the lay-by, also known as the termination fee. 

You should make sure you keep the receipts each time you make a payment.

Cancellation policy

The store may cancel the lay-by if you don’t pay it off in time. They must write to you and give you 14 days to reply or pay the amount owing.

If you can’t afford to pay the full amount by the due date, phone the store to discuss. Most stores will come to an agreement for payment.

If you decide to cancel the lay-by the business must refund any money you have paid, minus any termination fee as specified in the lay-by agreement.

Cancellation of the lay-by should be the last resort.

For more advice contact NT Consumer Affairs.

Last updated: 11 June 2015

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