The question has arisen whether mutuality needs to have been present from the outset—from the time of entering into the contract—or only by the time of enforcing it. The nineteenth-century formulation (in Fry on Specific Performance) expressed the doctrine as requiring that the remedy of specific performance should have been potentially available to either party at the time the contract is made.
[Example] Mutuality from the outset
D agrees to grant a lease of a house to C in return for C’s promise personally to renovate the house. D’s promise could not be specifically enforced against D [1.] since [2.] D would not be able to get specific performance of C’s obligation to renovate (it being a personal obligation). Furthermore, following Fry, the objection of lack of mutuality would still persist even if C had already done the renovation because the mutuality had to exist at the time of formation of the contract.
This is a typo right? This ought be C.
I don't understand the emboldened phrase. Unquestionably this is a contract?
D's promise (grant of a lease) is consideration for C's promise to renovate, and C's promise is consideration for D's promise.
This example is readying the reader for this case in the bottom para. ibid.
This view was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Price v Strange [ 3 W.L.R. 943]. The trial judge held that specific performance of an agreement to grant an underlease of a flat could not be ordered against the defendant because specific performance could not have been ordered against the claimant who had contracted to repair and decorate the flat (following Fry’s approach). The Court of Appeal reversed this decision and granted specific performance of the underlease since the claimant had done the repairs and decoration until he had been prevented from doing so by the defendant, and he had promised to pay to the defendant the cost of completing the repairs he had not done. There was therefore no danger of the defendant being left high and dry after complying with the court’s order of specific performance.