HiI have a residential lease for a condo townhouse in toronto, the unit had been sold back in July of 2011 and there had not been another lease brought to my attention until January of this year (2012). I had been paying my rent steadily and have the receipts to show it.The present owner of the building was the former agent for the previous owner (a corporation). He informed me that he had written a new lease and had my co-tenant sign it. I did not sign it as I was not made aware of the new lease, and I have never seen this lease, apparently it is with the new owner and my (former) co-tenant.upon hearing this news, I stopped using the unit (as a secondary residence) and asked the new landlord to provide me with a copy of this new lease, to repay (50%) of my last months rent, and to sign a termination of the former lease (form N11, for my protection).all requests have been denied, so I am now bringing him to the landlord tenant board.my question is this:What validity does a former lease have if it was between a tenant and a former owner, and can the landlord create a new lease coinciding with this former lease with only one of the tenants signing (in in this case, even being aware of a secondary lease).Thank you in advance, I'm suspecting there is something under contract law that this breaches.
The terms of the lease cannot be altered unilaterally.
And, once the term of the lease is up there is no requirement that a new one be signed as the tenants then become month to month tenants.
So none of this makes that much sense.
yes, that is standard fare. The point here is that the unit changed hands, it has a new owner
basic questions such as does a lease become month to month after it has expired are fairly easy to find on the landlord tenant board site.
this is probably contract law. When a property changes hands, the former owner is no longer the landlord. As such, does the former lease with the former owner still apply. My guess is no, and that proper notice should have been given.
Yes it does become month to month.
And your rights continue even though there is a new owner.
The new owner cannot force you to sign another lease.
And the new owner cannot evict you unless he/she is planning to move in.
I'm not worried about eviction, or being forced to sign a new lease
my question is "is the lease from the former owner a legal contract? My guess is no as there is a new owner. That when the unit was sold, proper notice should have been given and a new lease signed with the new owner.
The lease is still binding on you if the lease says it is assignable.
if the lease is assignable, then it would have to be assigned and all parties to the lease would have to agree. There has been no assignment of the lease, and the lease is not assignable as far as I can see.
are you a lawyer in ontario?
Yes I am.
the new owner informed me this january that he had written another lease with my former cotenant
There are two issues.
If the original lease says it's assignable you already agreed by signing that lease and that lease continues for the fixed term of that lease.
But if it's not assignable then it does not bind you to the new landlord.
And either way the landlord cannot impose a new lease on you.
So to be clear:
If this lease is not assignable, then it becomes null and void upon new ownership?
The proper procedure would have been to give me notice that the unit was being sold and a new lease drawn up with the new owner?
If you want to sign a new lease.
You could not have been forced to do so.
I wish to have the landlord sign a release (termination by mutual consent), but he refuses, and I also want to get my last month's deposit back.
I no longer use the unit and do not want a new lease, I want to terminate the lease I had, or even easier, if it was terminated by default, when the unit was sold, then that is satisfactory. I also want my last months deposit back as it was not used in that manner.
I see this as collecting rent from me on a lease that did not have a legal existance after the unit changed ownership 6 months earlier. (provided that it was not assignable as you mention)
I'm also guessing that an assignable lease would have to be agreed upon by all parties, is this true?
I am going to be in the tribunal in a couple of days, can you give me advise as to anything that I may not expect from this landlord?
As I explained you agreed the lease could be assigned if that's what the original lease stated and that the is the lease that would go on.
It sounds like you've gotten a good handle on this.
But why not call the board and run your facts by a staff member there?
let us assume that the lease is not assignable, then from what I gather and I would like you to verify this:
The former lease is no longer a legal contract in that case correct?
That would be the case.
But you would be a month to month tenant if you did not move out.
So you would stkill have rights and obligations.
Essentially as a squatter?
As a month to month tenant.
Now, can the landlord write another lease on this unit during that time, without my participation in that lease?
And you coukd not be forced to sign another lease.
The landlord told me that he had written, and signed another lease with my former co-tenant back in July. This lease was not brought to my attention.
I understand and that does not bind you.
I didn't think so, the point of having another lease written on the same property without my knowledge, seems to go awry of what I would expect to be covered in canadian contract law.
Yes of course it does.
You cannot be bounds unless you agree.
There was no meeting of the minds as we like to say.
essentially, the landlord is collecting rent from myself and has another lease on the same property, and he has been applying my rental payments (50%) to the new lease with my co tenant.
yes, I have heard that saying before, My fear is that when I land in front of the adjudicator a few mornings from now, I will be sideswiped by some legal strategy that takes me by surprise.
I don't see how that can be/
I almost feel as though there is a case for getting my rent back for the past six months, but that is not my intent, I'm hoping to come out of there with a mutual termination of the old lease, and my deposit returned to me, do you see any issues?
he will not repeat that there is another lease in place in front of the adjudicator, as I think that he has wisened up since he told me this tidbit.
No I think that makes good sense
But you can raise it.
he will bring my former cotenant (who is aggressive), for some reason or another.
You can say he told you that you are bound by a lease did not even know existed.
I have receipts for the entire length of the original contract, with the exception of the last payment I made (dec15 to Jan 15), The landlord previously did not give me receipts until the end of the contract (I received them in January), do you think that he will claim that this payment was not recieved, and that he was using my deposit for this month? My guess is yes.
In this case, I will raise the points that we had just mentioned.
I'm sure that he purposely did not give a receipt for that payment with this in mind, I'm leary of this strategy.
I don't know because he is essentially dishonest and not that bright so he's hard to predict I think.
I agree with you there, thanks. Let's assume he tackles things this way, would it be prudent of me at that point to point out the lack of notice that the unit was changing hands, the lack of negotiating a new lease (for BOTH tenants) for the new owner, and that I believe that the second lease written without my consent or knowledge is potentially or probably in violation of contract law.
I would like to point out that the fact that I only want to have a mutual termination written up and signed by all parties, and my last months deposit returned is a fairly simple request, compared to the gravity of the true situation (the potential violation of contract law, which opens up a can of worms for this landlord).
Yes I think that is all excellent evidence.
One problem, the landlord will probably not admit that he told me of the second lease drawn up. I verified this verbally with my former cotenant , but this person is hostile and will side up with the landlord in this hearing most likely.
my guess is this:
The landlord will call on my former cotenant as a witness to the stand, and this person will "swear that there was no other lease signed... I should say lie.
I have to base my case on those things that can be proven, so what I see is that the change of ownership and (as we are assuming) that the lease is non assumable.
The reason that my co tenant will sign up with the landlord is that if this person doesn't then this person will have to come up with the other half of the deposit for any new lease entered into with the new landlord. As it stands, my funds are essentially rolling over into the other lease that had been written up.
Should I mention these probable motivations in the hearing?
You cannot really say anything unless you are sure but you can try and fit this all in.
thanks, as I suspected, I will probably be cut off as I say these things. Is there a method that these types of thoughts can be brought before the adjudicator without seeming as though they are purely conjecture?
You can try and mention them when you give a history or a chronology of the events somehow-perhaps?
That may work, thank you.
I'm not overly skilled verbally, not underskilled either, but sometimes it takes a little time to get what I want to say across, is there a time limit to how long it takes for a person to get thier story out? can the adjudicator cut me off before the facts (as I consider them) are out?
I don't think that would happen.
And why not say at the outset that you are nervous and will try your best to be as articulate as possible but are new to this etc.
truthfully, i would rather not say that to avoid the snickers and leers from my landlord and former tenant
although I agree with you that that would be the thing to say.
former cotenant that is
Ok, so I see the stategy, getting the facts out during the history or chronology of the events and using this time to get my thoughts out as they will probably be shot down later if they are deemed to be conjecture by the adjucator.
I will try to get a copy of the change of ownership from land registry, and will bring that along with my receipts for my rent.
The adjudicator will probably ask why I did not give three months notice to terminate my lease.
This may be another angle that the landlord will try to use to retain my deposit.
do you have any advice on this?
You don't need 3 months. You need 60 days.But you were told that you were bound by a new lease that had nothing to do with you so you assumed that the landlord essentially ended your month to month tenancy.
Exactly what I was thinking, i was just wondering if that would "hold water". It makes sense though.
My original lease was from Jan 15, 2011 to Dec 14 2011, on the 15th of December, I gave my share of the rent in (without an immediate receipt...which never came...), I'm thinking this is the weak point.
I don't see it that way.
I have to run out to pick up a kid.
I didn't think we would be chatting for so long.
But I will check back as soon as I can.
I have stated that I stopped using the unit on January 15th.
truth is that I had stopped using that unit months ago, I have a country home outside of the city and found it preferable to commute two hours each way rather than put up with the hosility of my cotenant. but was still paying 50% of the rent as I was under the understanding that I was bound by the lease.
I’m anxious to hear why you don’t see it that way, thanks I will wait.
for your response.
this has been a while, please let me know when you return via my email account on record thanks.
Sorry I had a hungry kid.
I am free to chat.
And will watch for your reponse.
I don't think it matters about any receipt. The guy isn't go to lie about not getting money.
And i think the point really is that once you discovered he was treating the original lease at an end because he decided on his own you were bound some new lease you knew it was better to get out,.
And so really whether the lease was assignable or not isn't really the point. This new landlord made up the rules and decided you would be bound by them and he lacked the authority to do so.