The settlement date is the date on which the balance of the purchase price is paid to the seller in exchange for the property title.
This is an official process conducted between legal and financial representatives of the buyer and seller. The settlement date is also the date on which the buyer can take possession of the property, unless otherwise arranged.
At settlement all outgoings such as rates and other charges will be adjusted between the seller and the buyer. The seller is responsible for rates up to and including the day of settlement. The buyer is liable from the day after settlement.
Source: Consumer Affairs Victoria