Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our expert legal writers, as a learning aid to help law students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not reflect the views of LawTeacher.net. Any information contained in this case summary does not constitute legal advice and should be treated as educational content only.

Gibson v Manchester City Council - 1979

321 words (1 pages) Case Summary

27th Sep 2021 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team

Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law

Legal Case Summary

Gibson v Manchester City Council [1979] 1 WLR 294


Facts in Gibson v MCC

The defendant City Council had adopted a policy of selling council houses to its tenants. The claimant was a tenant of such a council house, who had applied for details of the house he was renting and applicable mortgage terms, using the printed form designated and supplied by the defendant for this purpose. 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 invited 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.

Issue in Gibson v MCC

The issue on appeal was whether the defendant’s letter of February 1971 was properly construed as an offer or as an invitation to treat.

Held in Gibson v MCC

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.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

Related Content

Jurisdictions / Tags

Content relating to: "UK Law"

UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.

Related Articles