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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 97965
Experience:  Lawyer
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Regarding Commercial Leasing: My wife and I have a small

Customer Question

Regarding Commercial Leasing:
My wife and I have a small business in Guelph and were provided with a certain dollar amount on our Leasing Documentation as the monthly payment. We paid this each and every month on time, and without issue, however we have now received a bill from the property owner indicating that an amount is outstanding for the Property Tax on the unit. To be clear, our lease payment included the monthly rent and Property Tax amounts as provided by the Realtor.
When I contacted the property management company and inquired about this, I was told that there was "a mistake" made in the initial amount detailed on our lease and that the amount now being billed was the difference between what was initially documented, and what the actual amount is.
My question is: From a legal standpoint, what, is anything, is our responsibility when it comes to this type of thing? The error was on the part of the property management / realty company who handled the leasing, and not, in any way, our error. Are we responsible for this? Does this error negate or affect our lease agreement in any way?
Thank you for your time.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

You are not responsible for the difference.

You only have to pay what the lease says you have to pay as that is a firm and binding contract between you and the landlord.

The landlord cannot possibly require you to pay more than what was agreed upon.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello. Thank you for the reply. To be clear: the billing was for what has been called "Property Tax Reconciliation" and is for what the Property Management and owner of the unit is calling an amount outstanding. This was, according to the company's accountant, due to a mistake made when the original lease amount was drawn up. The numbers supplied for the taxes was, in fact, incorrect according to the accountant. I am in agreement that we should not be held responsible for this mistake, however I want to be sure that this is legally correct. In addition, we have been billed an amount of roughly $700.00 for "Building Insurance", however this is also not specifically detailed in our lease as our responsibility. The lease does indicate that we are responsible for "Insurance", however this does not specify Building Insurance and when speaking with the same accountant at the Property Management company I was told that this was an error in the leasing documents and it "should" say that Building Insurance is our responsibility. As this is not documented, are we responsible for this? As this is a part of the same issue regarding billing for amounts not documented and due to "errors" made by the Property Owner and the company who represents his interests I think I can ask this here as well. Thank you.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

It doesn't matter if there were mistakes. You have a binding agreement and they simply cannot higher or different charges for any reason.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you again. One final question: In review of our lease, the documentation indicates a dollar amount of $254.38 for Property Tax per month which is followed by (Tax amount - subject to an annual reconciliation). As mentioned above, the amount that has been now invoiced to us is detailed as "Property Tax 2015 Reconciliation". Would this be a way in which the property management / owner can now bill us for this previously unmentioned amount?
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

That may make a difference. It sounds like the intention is that they estimated the property tax and then said that the end of each year they will see what it actually works out to be.

Maybe that you need to have a lawyer review your lease in detail, face to face.

Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Why did you close this post without rating me? Do you feel it is fair for me to work for free? I don't and to be honest cannot afford to do so.

Please reconsider and rate me so I can get paid for my time.

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