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OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE rules regarding offer

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Presentation on theme: "OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE rules regarding offer"— Presentation transcript:

1 OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE rules regarding offer
1. An offer may be express or may be implied from the circumstances : An offer may be made in two ways : by words, spoken or written and by conduct. 2. An offer may be made to a definite person relationship is required : 4.The terms of the offer must be certain, definite, unam­biguous and not vague : 5. A mere statement of intention is not an offer intention to sell: Quotation of prices : Advertisements : Catalogue : time-table Question and Reply : Auction 6.offer must be communicated to the offeree : offer may be conditional Strict enforcement : No reasonable notice Against public interest : unreasonable : Conditional offers are invalid under the following circumstances Lack of reasonable notice. Unreasonable terms. breach of fundamental rights. Tortious action by offeror: 8.Printed Contracts :

2 OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE Rules regarding –acceptance
must be 'an absolute and unqualified acceptance of all the terms of the offer-Sec 7(1). conditional Acceptance Contracts subject to condition Clarification : the acceptance must be expressed in same usual or reasonable manner :-Sec 7(2). Mental acceptance or uncommunicated assent does -not result in a contract The mode of acceptance : time of Acceptance : when acceptance is complete Before Offer: he acceptance must be made while the offer is in force, REVOCATION By notice By lapse of time After expiry of reasonable time By failure of a condition precedent .By death or insanity Counter Offer .By refusal Revocation of Acceptance Section 5 of the Contract Act provides that an acceptance can be revoked any time before the acceptance comes to the knowledge of the proposer but not afterwards.

3 A) Offer and Acceptance:
X says to Y, "Will you buy my house for Rs 50,000?”This is an offer. If Y says, "Yes", the offer is accepted and a contract is formed.  a) Requirements of a valid offer: i) An offer is a definite promise to be bound on specific terms. Gunthing v Lynn: The offeror offered to pay a further sum for a horse if it was `lucky'. Held: the offer was too vague. ii). An offer must be distinguished from the mere supply of information; Harvey v Facey: A telegraphed to B ‘will you sell us bumper hall pen? Telegraph lowest cash price’. ‘B replied lowest price for bumper hall pen $ 900’. A telegraphed to accept what he regarded as an offer; B made no further reply. Held: B's telegram was merely a statement of his price if a sale were to be agreed. It was not an offer which A could accept. No contract had been made. An invitation to the other party to enter into negotiations; or An invitation to make an offer. iii). But if, in the course of negotiations for a sale, the vendor states the price at which he will sell, that statement may be an offer which can be accepted. Bigg v Boyd Gibbons: X in the course of correspondence rejected an offer of $20,000 by Y and added `for a quick sale I would accept $26, , if you are not interested in this price would you please let me know immediately'. Held: in this context X must be treated as making an offer (at $ 26,000) which Y-had accepted.  

4 iv). An 'invitation to treat', is not an offer to sell
Fisher v Bell: a shop keeper was prosecuted for offering for sale an offensive weapon by exhibiting a flick knife in his shop window. Held: 'the display of an article with a price on it in a shop window is merely an invitation to treat. It is in no sense an offer for sale.' v). The use or absence of the word `offer' is not conclusive. For example, a. company is said to make an `offer' of its shares when it publishes a prospectus, but is an invitation to the public to make offers. vi). An offer may only be accepted by a person to whom the offer has been made. Carlill v Carbolic Smokeball Co: The manufacturers of a patent medicine published an advertisement by which they undertook to pay `£ l00 reward ... to any person who contracts …. influenza, colds, .... after having used the Smokeball three times daily for two weeks.' Held: it was an offer to the whole world which C could accept and had accepted. Point (1) did not succeed since the court found that the terms of the offer were sufficiently clear. They were not vague. b) Termination of offer: i). an offer may only be accepted while the offer is still open. An offer is terminated in any of the following circumstances: if it has expired by lapse of time, if the offeror has revoked it; if the offeree has rejected it: if the offeree dies or if the offeror dies.

5 ii). an offer would last for a specified time.
Ramsgate Victoria Hotel Co v Montefiore: M applied to the company for shares and paid a deposit to the company's bank. Held: M's offer was for a reasonable time only and five months was much more than that. The offer had lapsed. iii). the offeror may revoke his offer at any time before acceptance. Routledge v Grant: G offered to buy R's house, requiring acceptance within six weeks. Within the six weeks G withdrew his offer. Held: as there was no option agreement, G could revoke his offer at any time. vi) Revocation may be an express statement or an act of the offeror to that effect. Byrne v Van Tienhoven: The offeror was in Cardiff: the offeree in New York. Held: the letter of revocation could not take effect until received (20 October); it could not revoke the contract made by acceptance of the offer on 11 October. Simply posting a letter does not revoke the offer until it is received. v. An offer may be rejected outright or by a counter-offer made by the offeree. Either form of rejection terminates the original offer. Hyde v Wrench: W offered to sell property to H for £ 1,000. H made a counter offer of £ 950 which W rejected three weeks later. Held: the original offer of £ 1,000 had been terminated by the counter offer of £ 950; it could not therefore be accepted.

6 vi. Death of the offeree terminates the offer
vi. Death of the offeree terminates the offer. Death of the offeror terminates the offer unless the offeree accepts it in ignorance of the offeror's death, and the offer is not of a personal nature. Bradbury v Morgan: A offered to guarantee payment (up to $ 100) for X in respect of goods to be supplied by B on credit to X. A died and B, in ignorance of his death, continued to supply goods to X. Held: A's offer was a continuing commercial offer which B had accepted by supply of goods after A's death. Requirements of a valid acceptance: 1. Acceptance may be by express words or by action or by implied from conduct. Brogden v Metropolitan Railway Co: For many years B supplied coal to M. He suggested that they should enter into a written agreement and M's agent sent a draft to him for consideration. Held: the draft agreement became the contract between the parties as soon as M ordered and B supplied coal after the return by B of the draft to M's agent. 2. There must be some act by the offeree to indicate his acceptance. Felthouse v Bindley: After previous negotiations had produced an agreed price P wrote to J offering to buy a horse for £ 30.75, adding `If I hear no more about him, I consider the horse mine at that price'. Held: there could be no acceptance by silence in these circumstances - the offeror cannot impose acceptance merely because the offeree does not reject the offer.

7 3. Goods which are sent or services which are rendered to a person who did not request them are not ‘accepted’ merely because he does not return them to the sender. 4. Acceptance must be unqualified agreement to the terms of the offer. Neale v Merrett: A offered to sell land for £280 to B. B replied accepting the offer, enclosing £80 and undertaking to pay the balance of £200 by monthly installments of £50. Held: there had been no acceptance. The normal terms are that the entire price is payable as a single sum at completion. 5. It is possible to respond to an offer without accepting or rejecting it by a request for information or by acceptance 'subject to contract'. Stevenson v. McLean: M offered to sell iron at £2 per ton. S enquired whether M would agree to a contract by which delivery would be spread over two months. Held: there was a contract since S had merely enquired as to a variation of terms which was not a rejection. 6. Acceptance 'subject to contract' is neither acceptance nor rejection by counter offer.

8 7. Acceptance 'subject to contract' must be distinguished from outright and immediate acceptance
Branca v Cobarro: A vendor agreed to sell a mushroom farm under a contract which ended 'this is a provisional agreement until a fully legalised agreement drawn up by a solicitor and embodying all the conditions herewith stated is signed.' Held: the parties were bound by their provisional contract until, by mutual agreement, they made another to replace it. Communication of acceptance: 1. The general rule is that acceptance must be communicated to the offeror and is not effective until this has been done. Entores v Miles Far Eastern Corporation: The offeror sent off an offer by telex to the offeree's agent in Amsterdam and the latter sent an acceptance by telex. ' Held: the acceptance took effect when the telex message was printed out on the offeror's terminal in London.

9 2. But the offeror may by his offer dispense with communication of acceptance.
3. The offeror may call for acceptance by specified means. Yates Building Co v R J Pulleyn & Sons (York): The offer called for acceptance by registered or recorded delivery letter. The offeree sent an ordinary letter which arrived without delay. Held: the offeror had suffered no disadvantage and had not stipulated that acceptance must be made in this way only. The acceptance was valid. 4. The offeror may expressly or by implication indicate that he expects acceptance by letter sent through the post. Adams v Lindsell: L made an offer by letter to A requiring an answer ‘in course of post'. Held: the acceptance was made 'in course of post' and effective when posted. 5. The intention to use the post for communication of acceptance may be deduced from the circumstances - Household Fire and Carriage Accident Insurance Co v Grant: G handed a letter of application for shares to the company's agent in Swansea with the intention that it should be posted to the company in London. Held: the parties intended to use the Post Office as their common agent and delivery of the letters of allotment to the Post Office was acceptance of G's offer.   

10 6. The offeror may be unaware that a contract has been made by acceptance of his offer.
7. Acceptance of an offer may only be made by a person authorised to do so. Powell v Lee: P applied for a job and after a series of interviews the management decided to give it to him no decision was made as to how the appointment was to be communicated. Held: since communication of acceptance was unauthorised, there was no valid agreement and hence no contract; Agreement without offer and acceptance: 1. Offer and acceptance are essential to make a contract. 2 Problems arise in the following circumstances: (a) Reward cases; (b) Cross-offers; (c) Collateral contracts. 3. If A offers a reward to anyone who finds and returns his lost property and B, in ignorance of the offer, does in fact return it to him, is B entitled to the promised reward? There is no contract by which A is obliged to pay the reward to B (R v Clarke).

11 4. Acceptance may still be valid even if the offer was not the sole reason for it being made.
Williams v Carwardine: A reward was offered to bring criminals to book. W, an accomplice in the crime, supplied the information, with knowledge of the reward but moved primarily by remorse at her own part in the crime. Held: as the information was given with knowledge, the acceptance was related to the offer despite the fact that remorse was the prime motive. 5. After an inconclusive discussion, X writes to offer to buy property from Y and Y at the same time writes to offer to sell the property to X on the same terms, these 'cross offers' establish agreement, but neither offer has been accepted.. 6. If there are two separate contracts by offer and acceptance between A and B and A and C on terms which involve some concerted action between B and C, there may be a contract between B and C. "this is explained as 'collateral contract' Clarke v Dunraven: B and C were competitors in a yacht race and each (by his entry form) agreed with the race organiser (A) to pay 'all damages' caused by fouling. B fouled C's yacht and caused her to sink. Held: there was a contract between B and C under which B must pay for the damages to C's yacht.

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