Control of the council passed from conservatives to labor

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In February 1971, the city treasurer responded to this application stating that 'The [council] may be prepared to sell you the house at the purchase price…', and providing details of the mortgage. This letter also stated that it did not amount to a ‘firm offer' of a mortgage, and asked the claimant to make a formal application using an enclosed form. In March 1971, the claimant returned the completed form to the defendant.

Following local elections in May of the same year, control of the Council passed from the Conservatives to Labour. The new Labour Council policy was that council houses would not be sold under the previous Conservative policy unless a legally binding contract was already in place. The defendant refused to sell to the claimant, who brought an action against them in breach of contract. This action was successful at first instance and the Court of Appeal, upon which the defendant appealed to the House of Lords.

The House of Lords held that there was no concluded contract and the defendant was not legally bound to sell the property, as the council's letter did not state the price and was not an offer but an invitation to treat. (Lawteacher, 2018).

Reference no: EM132184859

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