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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 98412
Experience:  Lawyer
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What sort of protection does a commercial tenant have in

Customer Question

What sort of protection does a commercial tenant have in regard to being removed from the property and having the business' doors locked?
Some background: There is no late rent or other irregularities. The issue stems from the owner/tenant renting the location from her landlord/spouse, and there are now major marital issues. The landlord showed up at the place of business, told everyone to leave, and locked the doors. The owner has major concerns that the landlord will enter the unit to remove/damage her business assets.
I've already told her she needs to contact a lawyer immediately, but any appointments she can get will be in a few days, and she needs to know what she needs to do now (a few days might be too late).
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

I want to make sure I'm understanding the facts. The issue has nothing to do with the tenant at all just that the two owners are fighting and one of the owners wanted to get the tenants out.

Is that correct?

What type of assets does she have in the rental space?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It's an appliance store. Washers, dryers, fridges, etc.Yes, the issue is marital, and not lease oriented.For clarification, the wife owns the appliance store, the husband is the landlord, and does not own any part of the store.
Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

So the tenant is the wife?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I'm sorry that was unclear.The wife is the tenant and the business owner.The husband is the landlord, and does not own any part of the business.(Added detail top keep you up to date) I'm not sure where you are located, but the local time here is 5:30pm. As the business day is ending here, I've suggested that the wife bring in some private security guards for the night: just to sit in their cars and be witnesses if they see the landlord entering/removing property.
Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

I am in Ontario.

That is a good idea.

She should also make a list of her inventory if possible.

And she should do all she can to see a family lawyer this week. I know it is already Wednesday but it sounds like there is a lot at stake here.

As well, she can ask the police if they will assist her in getting back into the premises though they likely will not without a lawyer.

She can say it is for peacekeeping purposes as she wants to remove her inventory and explain it is her business and not her spouse's who has locked her out illegally.

Does that help as a starting point?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
A few quick questions though:Does the landlord need any documents to move in and take things? Does he need a sheriff present? I want to make sure she gets the legal help she should, but ALSO that she isn't illegally obstructing him in his rights as a landlord, however wrongfully he is using them.
Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

He has no right to lock her out and keep her things.

First, the law in Ontario is that if she defaults on the rent and or does something wrong he can either lock her out or distrain (seize her assets) but he has to choose and cannot do both.

But, she is not behind on rent and has done nothing wrong so the lock out is illegal.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for your help. While I've already suggested what you mention, re sections 53 through 56, and especially 55(2), relating to destrainment, it's good to know that there isn't anything further I can recommend.As you say, it really is a matter of her being proactive, and standing up for her rights through a lawyer.Thanks again.
Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

You are right.

You are very welcome.

I hope this works out.

Take good care.

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