Options—extending time for exercise
Options—extending time for exercise

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Options—extending time for exercise
  • Waiver
  • Express variation

Unless the option agreement or contract specifically allows for extensions of time, the time limit must be strictly adhered to. It cannot be extended by reference to equitable principles, nor can the buyer unilaterally vary the terms of a contract. Extension must be by waiver or by express agreement.

The seller (or the buyer in rare cases where the time limit has been inserted purely for the benefit of the buyer, eg where a contract is conditional on the obtaining of planning permission by the seller by a certain date) can waive the right to insist on performance by the stipulated time and allow an extension.


Waiver has the effect of substituting the extended time for the original time limit. If time is of the essence in respect of the original longstop date it will remain so in respec