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Errington v Errington [1952]

Errington v Errington and Woods [1952]

Facts

  • A father made his son and daughter-in-law a unilateral offer to his son and daughter in law that they could remain in the house if they paid off the remaining mortgage instalments
  • They proceeded to do this, however before the mortgage was paid off, the father died
  • The father’s wife inherited the house

Issue

  • Could the wife remove the son and daughter in law from the house, given the father was dead?

Decision

  • No removal, claim failed

Reasoning

  • Although a unilateral contract can only be accepted once its conditions have been performed, the mother was estopped from revoking the offer as there was a collateral contract to keep the offer open until its conditions had been met
  • It is uncertain if the wife was suing in the capacity of personal representative or executrix. If executrix, a licence successfully bound a successor in title, contrary to the orthodox land law licence rule set out in King v David Allen [1916]
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