FAQ’S Business Law

Business Lawyer Brampton

Leases

No, the rights and obligations set out in a lease do not renew on a monthly basis when the lease expires.

A tenant has two options in this situation: to take the landlord to Small Claims Court to recover costs, or to go to Superior Court of Justice and get a court order requiring the landlord to fulfil the conditions of the lease. In court, the tenant could also ask for compensation for losses incurred as a result of the landlord’s actions, such as lost business. Tenants should speak to a lawyer to evaluate the options.

According to contract law, a tenant is obligated to pay for the full term of a lease agreement, unless the lease has a clause allowing the tenant to end the tenancy early. However, tenants are allowed to sub-let or assign a lease to someone else, unless the lease prohibits it. As well, a landlord could choose to work out an agreement with the tenant, such as requiring rent payments until the unit is re-rented.

If the tenant vacates before the end of the lease, it is expected that the landlord will try to find a new tenant. If the landlord cannot find a new tenant, or loses any money because of the breach of the lease, the landlord may be able to sue the tenant.

The landlord should show the tenant these costs, but if the information is not given, the tenant should seek legal advice as to the best available remedy.

There is no standard government issued lease. The contents of a lease are up to the landlord and the tenant to negotiate. Landlords and tenants may wish to seek legal advice.

Landlord And Tenant Responsibilities

It depends on what the lease says. If the issue is not addressed in the lease, then the tenant is likely responsible, because landlords are generally only responsible for maintaining the structural elements of the building, including the roof and walls.

It depends on what the lease says. If the issue is not addressed in the lease, the tenant is generally responsible. If the service has been provided in the past but has recently been discontinued, the tenant may want to seek legal advice.

When there is no lease, the tenant is generally responsible for maintenance/repair of the rental unit, with the exception of the building’s structure (walls and roof). In this situation, the tenant can either try to persuade the landlord to make repairs, take care of the problem themselves, or end the tenancy.

A landlord may choose to hire a bailiff for assistance; they are private companies and are generally listed in the Yellow Pages.

A breach of the lease by a tenant may be grounds to evict. The landlord should consult a lawyer or apply to the Superior Count of Justice to have a judge decide if the tenant has breached the lease, and if so, to have the lease terminated and the tenant evicted.

The landlord must serve a notice of forfeiture and a reasonable amount of time must be provided for the tenant to vacate the unit.

It depends upon the facts. If there is any question about whether the tenancy is residential or commercial, the Landlord and Tenant Board will hold a hearing and make a decision. Either the landlord or the tenant may apply to the Board. The Board can be reached at: 416-645-8080 or 1-888-332-3234.

At the hearing, the Board will consider the terms of the lease as well as look at all the circumstances. For example, despite what is in the lease, the landlord may have consented to a residential arrangement or encouraged the tenant to use the premises for residential purposes. If so, the landlord may be bound by the provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006.

However, a tenant may be living in a commercial space with a commercial lease in contravention of the terms of the lease or in contravention of city by-laws or other applicable laws, without the landlord’s knowledge or consent. In this case, the landlord would likely be able to pursue the remedies available under the Commercial Tenancies Act or applicable common law.

If a tenant is breaking the rules of the lease, the landlord can serve a notice of forfeiture demanding that the illegal activities stop. The length of time for the tenant to fix the problem should be based on the seriousness of the breach: immediate eviction may be appropriate for serious problems. Landlords may apply to the Superior Court of Justice for an order ending the tenancy, and a “writ of possession” to evict the tenant.

If the lease does not prohibit illegal activities then the landlord may have no recourse, except for informing the police. Landlords should talk to a lawyer to evaluate their options.

Rent And Deposits

The Commercial Tenancies Act does not have rules about last month’s rent or security deposits; it is up to the landlord and tenant to negotiate. The amount of a security deposit can exceed the amount of one month’s rent.

No, unless the landlord agrees to it, or it was allowed under the terms of the lease, the deposit can only be used for its specified purpose, and the tenant is still expected to pay rent. Usually landlords require a security deposit that is returned when the tenant vacates the unit.

Tenants Moving Out

No, the tenant can give proper notice that he/she intends to leave, and pay the original rent for the final month.

Unless the lease states otherwise, a tenant is generally required to leave the rented premises in the same condition as when they moved in, minus reasonable “wear-and-tear”. If a tenant renovates a unit according to a requirement in the lease or with permission of the landlord, they will usually be able to leave the premises in the renovated condition, as long as there is no unreasonable damage to the property.

In general, fixtures installed by the tenant become the property of the landlord. However, if the lease stipulates that a tenant must remove fixtures, the tenant is usually responsible for ensuring that any damage due to installation or removal is repaired. If the tenant damages the property, leaves the premises in a condition that causes the landlord a financial loss, or does not comply with the terms of the lease, the landlord may be able to sue the tenant.

There is no legislation that deals with abandoned property. Generally, if the property is of no value, then it may be acceptable for the landlord to dispose of it. If the property has value, the landlord should make all reasonable attempts to inform the tenant that it should be retrieved. If the landlord throws it away or sells it too soon, the landlord may be at risk of being sued by the tenant. Landlords may wish to consult a lawyer for advice.

Other

The law provides that the responsibility rests on both the landlord and the tenant. The lease may provide some guidance in this respect but legal advice should be sought.

No, the landlord does not have a right to a key or to enter the rental unit unless the tenant agrees to it or the lease has addressed this issue. The police or fire department will force entry in cases of emergency.

No, unless the tenant agrees to it or the lease has addressed this issue.

No. The Repair and Storage Liens Act does. It allows storage providers to seize personal property for non-payment. For information on the Act you can call 1-800-268-1142.

No, this would put a tenant in a position to be evicted. A tenant may apply to court if a landlord fails to meet obligations.

Yes, if a landlord is registered for GST, the landlord can collect GST from the tenant. Even if the lease does not stipulate that the tenant must pay GST, the landlord can ask the tenant to pay it. For more information on GST requirements you can contact the GST Information Line of the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency toll-free at 1-800-959-5525.

The provincial government does not intervene in commercial landlord and tenant disputes.