20272401                Semester 1 Assignment


I am going to discuss briefly in what conditions an offer is terminated.

An offer does not always end up as a contract.  There are a number of events that may occur after an offer has been made which bring it to an end so that it can no longer be accepted.  An offer is terminated in the following circumstances:

  1. Revocation
  2. Rejection
  3. Lapse of time
  4. Occurrence of Condition
  5. Death


An offeror may withdraw an offer at any time before acceptance takes place.  The revocation must be communicated to the offeree before acceptance.  Communication does not need to be made by the offeree; communication through a third party will be sufficient.  In Byrne v Van Tienhoven   the withdrawal of an offer sent by telegram was held to be communicated only when the telegram was received.  Although an offer cannot be withdrawn once it has been accepted, it may be revoked at any time before acceptance has occurred.  The offeror may withdraw his offer even if it was specifically stated that it would remain open for a fixed period.


An offer is terminated if the offeree rejects the offer.  It is not possible for him simply to change his mind and accept.  A counter offer amounts to a rejection of the original offer.  In Hyde v Wrench  the defendant offered to sell a farm for £1000.  The plaintiff said he would give £950 for the farm.  The court held that this was a counter offer, terminating the original offer.  The original offer was therefore, no longer open for acceptance. Where the offeree does not make a counter offer, but simply seeks further information from the offeror, this would not be considered as rejection.    



An offer may come to an end due to lapse of time.  The offeror does not specify that the offer must be accepted within a specified period.  However, it would be impracticable if an offer could be accepted after an unreasonable delay on the part of the offeree.  So where the offeror does not specify a time limit for acceptance, the offer will lapse unless it is accepted within a reasonable time.  What amounts to a reasonable time will depend on the circumstances of the case and must take into account the subject matter of the offer.  For example, in Ramsgate Victoria hotel Co v Montefiore , it was held that an offer to buy shares which was made in June could not be accepted as late as the following November.  The offer had not been accepted within a reasonable period, bearing in mind the fluctuating nature of the subject matter.

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An offer which expressly provides that it is to terminate on the occurrence of some condition cannot be accepted after that condition has occurred; and such a provision may also be implied.  For example, if an offer to buy goods is made after the offeror has examined them, it may be an implied term of the offer that they should at the time of acceptance be in substantially the same state as what they were when the offer was made.  Such an offer cannot be accepted after the goods have been seriously damaged.  


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