Specific Performance in a Contract

Specific Performance in a Contract: Understanding the Legal Remedy

When it comes to contracts, it`s not uncommon for one party to fail to live up to their end of the bargain. In these situations, the other party may seek a legal remedy to enforce the terms of the contract and obtain the benefits they were promised. One such remedy is specific performance.

What is Specific Performance?

Specific performance is a legal remedy that requires a party to fulfill their contractual obligations as specified in the contract. In other words, it`s a court order that compels the non-breaching party to fulfill the contractual obligations spelled out in the agreement. This remedy is most commonly used when the subject matter of the contract is unique and cannot be easily replaced, such as a piece of property or a rare piece of artwork.

When is Specific Performance Used?

Specific performance is often used in cases where monetary damages are not sufficient to compensate for the breach of contract. For example, if a contractor agrees to build a custom home for a buyer, but then fails to do so, monetary damages may not fully compensate the buyer for the loss of their dream home. In these cases, the buyer may seek specific performance to force the contractor to finish the home as agreed upon in the contract.

How is Specific Performance Enforced?

In order to obtain a court order for specific performance, the non-breaching party must first prove that:

1. There is a valid and enforceable contract in place

2. The non-breaching party has performed their obligations under the contract

3. The breaching party has failed to perform their obligations as specified in the contract

4. Monetary damages are not an adequate remedy for the breach of contract

If these conditions are met, the non-breaching party may petition the court for a specific performance order. If the court grants the order, the breaching party will be ordered to perform their contractual obligations as specified in the contract.

Limitations of Specific Performance

It`s important to note that specific performance is not always available as a remedy. For example, if the subject matter of the contract is not unique and can be easily replaced, the court may not grant a specific performance order. Additionally, if the performance of the obligation would require ongoing supervision by the court, the court may also decline to order specific performance.

In conclusion, specific performance is a legal remedy that can be used to enforce a contract when monetary damages are not an adequate remedy. It`s important to work with a contract attorney to ensure that your contract includes appropriate provisions to enforce specific performance if it becomes necessary.