Benjamin is the tenant of an apartment owned by Christine. In October 2014, Christine decides that she wants to sell the apartment. On 3 November 2014, she sends Benjamin the following e-mail:
‘Dear Benjamin, I hope this finds you well. I have decided to sell the flat that you rent from me. I am interested in selling it to you, as it is now. Could you please let me know whether you are willing to buy the flat for the price of € 300.000?’
On 6 November 2014 at 21.00 hrs, Benjamin sends an SMS to Christine. The message reads:
‘Hi Christine, I definitely want to buy the apartment for the price you indicated in your e-mail.’
When Christine reads Benjamin’s SMS on the following day (she went to bed early and had put her phone into flight mode in order not to be disturbed), she is distressed. When she had not heard from Benjamin on 4 November, she went to look for another potential buyer. She found one in her nephew Tom, who told her he was willing to buy the apartment for the asking price.
You work as a lawyer with offices in both Bristol and Hamburg.
Christine hires you to write a brief advice in which you explain whether or not she has a contract with Benjamin for the sale of the apartment under English and German law, and, if so, at what time the contract has been concluded.