Performance of the Contract for Services


You have chosen the person or company that will be providing the service you need. You have agreed on the price. Now you’re getting to the heart of the contract—the provision of the service itself. What are the rules of conduct that apply to you and to the service provider?

Your responsibilities

Before the work begins, it’s important that you give the service provider all the information required for the service to be rendered. Your duty to provide information depends largely on the type of service. For example, a contract to trim a cedar hedge requires less information than a contract for real estate brokerage services.

Naturally, you will have to pay for the service rendered. If you plan to pay in instalments as the work progresses, each payment is an acknowledgment of the work that has been completed up to that point.

Responsibilities of the service provider

The service provider can choose how to perform the service. As the client, you cannot tell the service provider how to do their work. The provider’s independence in how they carry out the work is what mainly distinguishes a contract for services from an employment contract.

You can, however, give the service provider specific instructions, monitor the progress of the work, and express your preferences regarding the expected result.

Service providers have to carry out their work by using methods that are generally recognized and accepted in their field of expertise.

Additionally, they must: 

  • act with prudence and diligence in carrying out the work  
  • act in the best interest of their client 
  • ensure that the work is carried out according to the terms of the contract 

Sub-contracting and material

Your service provider may entrust certain parts of the work to others. This is known as “sub-contracting.” The service provider remains responsible for the final work. 

However, your supplier cannot sub-contract the work if you chose their services due to their expertise or personal qualities. For example, if you hire a well-known painter to create an artistic mural in your living room, that person cannot sub-contract the work to someone else. 

Your service provider normally supplies the tools, materials and other equipment needed to perform the contract. However, you can provide the material if you and your supplier agree to this in the contract. In this case, you will be responsible for the quality of this material.