Is Specific Performance a Remedy for Breach of Contract


When two parties enter into a contract, they do so with the intention of fulfilling their respective obligations. However, in certain situations, a breach of contract may occur. When this happens, the non-breaching party may seek remedies to recover losses resulting from the breach.

One such remedy is specific performance, which is an equitable remedy that requires the breaching party to perform their contractual obligations as specified in the contract. It is a unique remedy that distinguishes itself from other remedies like damages, which only seek to compensate for losses incurred due to the breach of contract.

While specific performance may seem like an attractive option for the non-breaching party, courts will only grant this remedy if certain conditions are met. Generally speaking, the court will only grant specific performance if:

1. The breached contract is valid and enforceable;

2. The non-breaching party has fulfilled their own obligations under the contract;

3. The breach has caused the non-breaching party irreparable harm, such as the loss of a unique item or the detriment of a long-term contractual relationship;

4. The breaching party is capable of performing their obligations as specified in the contract.

Additionally, specific performance is only applicable in certain types of contracts. For instance, specific performance is more typically granted for contracts involving real estate or unique items like pieces of art or antiques. However, it is less commonly granted in contracts involving labor or services.

It is important to note that specific performance is not always the best remedy for a breach of contract. This remedy can be costly and time-consuming, and it may not always be feasible to enforce. Additionally, even if specific performance is granted, there is still the risk that the breaching party will not perform their obligations as specified in the contract.

Therefore, it is crucial for both parties to a contract to carefully consider the potential risks and benefits of specific performance as a remedy for breach of contract. This is where the role of legal counsel is important. An experienced attorney can review the contract, assess the circumstances surrounding the breach, and provide advice on the most effective remedies available.

In conclusion, specific performance is an equitable remedy that can be sought by the non-breaching party in a contract dispute. However, it is important to carefully consider its potential benefits and drawbacks before pursuing this remedy in court. Ultimately, the decision should be based on the specific circumstances of the contract and the goals of the non-breaching party.