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When is specific performance an appropriate remedy?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2023 | Business Litigation

When you enter into a contract with another party, you do so with the expectation that everyone will fulfill their obligations under the terms of the agreement. However, it does not always turn out this way. The other party may fail to perform their part resulting in a breach of contract.

Fortunately, the law provides various remedies to make you whole after a breach of contract. One of them is specific performance, a unique kind of remedy.

How specific performance works

As a remedy for a breach of contract, specific performance refers to the court-ordered performance of a specific contractual obligation. It requires the breaching party to perform the obligation specified in the contract. Specific performance is a unique remedy because it seeks to enforce the specific terms of the contract rather than awarding monetary damages to compensate for the breach.

It is only ideal under certain circumstances

Specific performance is an appropriate remedy in situations where monetary damages are insufficient to compensate the non-breaching party adequately.

For instance, if the subject matter of the contract is unique or is of great importance to the non-breaching party and money cannot fill the gap, the only way out is specific performance. That being said, there are instances when a court will not grant an order of specific performance regardless of the contract. Other remedies may be preferred if, say, a specific performance order would cause severe hardship to the defendant or when the contract is too vague to be enforced.

Protect your interests after a breach of contract

Specific performance may seem the perfect remedy for a breach of contract, but it’s not necessarily so. The best remedy depends on the unique aspects of individual cases. Therefore, it is advisable to have an informed assessment of your situation to understand your options and protect yourself from further loss.