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Day Morris Associates v Voyce [2003] EWCA Civ 189

Contract – Offer – Acceptance – Terms – Commission - Agreement

Facts

The complainants, Day Morris Associates, claimed that the defendant, Ms Voyce, had instructed them to market her marital home for her to sell, as qualified estate agents. It was also claimed that she entered into an oral agreement with the complainant regarding commission when it was sold. Although the defendant instructed the complainants to stop marketing the property after a while, as it was going to be re-mortgaged, she actually tracked down a buyer that had been introduced originally by the agents. The third party accepted this offer to buy her property. Ms Voyce denied that she had entered into this agreement for commission, as she had not signed any contract with the complainants.

Issues

The claim for commission was dismissed. However, the complainant appealed this decision. The issue was whether there was a contract between the complainant and the defendant regarding the commission of marketing and selling the property.

Held

The appeal was allowed. The commission for the sale of the property was to be paid to Day Morris Associates for marketing her house and playing a part in the sale. Ms Boyce’s behaviour was enough to imply acceptance of the agreement and form a valid contract with Day Morris Associated for their services as an estate agent. The court stated that in order for there to be acceptance to form a contract, it had to be a final and unqualified expression of assent to the offer. Her behaviour was sufficient, despite no written contract or any mental reservations on the offer that she may have had.


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