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Commercial Real Estate Lawyer in Toronto, Ontario

Under the Canadian Constitution, commercial leases are governed by provincial laws. In Ontario, Canada, the governing law is the Commercial Tenancies Act (CTA). The CTA is a complex document that outlines specific obligations, rights, and relationships between a commercial landlord and tenants. It is important to note, however, that a lease may take precedence over the CTA.

Are you looking to enter into a commercial lease as either a landlord or a tenant? It is important to consult with a real estate lawyer knowledgeable in the CTA and commercial leases. If you’re considering a commercial lease in or around Toronto, Canada, or you’ve already entered into one and have a dispute you need to resolve, contact Matthew R Harris Law P.C. Lawyer Matthew Harris has represented hundreds of clients in commercial lease matters and will be able to provide skilled legal counsel. He also proudly represents clients in or around Hamilton, London, and Ottawa.

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Commercial Leases in Ontario

There are generally two types of leases for commercial property in Ontario: a fixed-term agreement and a periodic agreement.

A fixed-term agreement is a lease that is written for a specified period of time or is conditioned upon a certain event taking place, such as the death of the lessee.

A periodic agreement is often a month-to-month arrangement, whereby the lease automatically renews unless one of the parties terminates the agreement.

Rights and Responsibilities of Landlords and Tenants

A commercial lease can take precedence over the Commercial Tenancies Act. However, when a lease fails to address an issue that arises between landlord and tenant, and the lease is silent on the subject, the CTA takes precedence.

In general terms, commercial landlords:

  • Must notify tenants in writing of any breach of the lease and give them a reasonable period of time to comply and remedy the situation

  • May terminate a tenancy when a tenant fails to fulfill their obligations in the lease

  • Have the right to seek damages from the tenant for the loss of rental income through the end of the lease

Also, generally speaking, tenants:

  • Must pay their rent on the agreed-upon date in the lease

  • Cannot withhold rent because a landlord has failed to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the lease

  • Must fulfill their obligations as described in the lease

  • Have the right to take their disputes to the Small Claims Court if the sum is under $10,000, or to the Superior Court of Justice if the sum is larger. The court option can also be used to obtain a court order requiring the landlord to fulfill his or her obligations, such as for maintenance or utilities

If the Tenant Fails to Pay the Rent

Landlords are given two options if a tenant fails to pay the rent due. The first option is to change the locks on the commercial unit, but the landlord must wait 16 days after the tenant failed to pay the rent on time.

The second option is to seize the property found inside the rental unit and then sell it to offset losses. The landlord is required by law to hold the property for five days, during which time you can make good on past-due rent and recover your property.

Commercial Real Estate Lawyer
in Toronto, Ontario

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it is always a good idea to have any lease reviewed by a corporate real estate lawyer to make sure your rights are protected. It is also a good idea to include in the lease provisions for dispute resolution to help avoid the costs of going to court. Whatever your questions or issues with a commercial lease, rely on Matthew R Harris Law P.C. to help resolve matters. Lawyer Matthew Harris has helped landlords and tenants throughout Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa, and London enter into sound lease arrangements and deal with disputes when they arise. Contact him with your commercial real estate needs and concerns.