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I own a convenience store, in a rental premises, in Ontario.

Store is not doing well...
I own a convenience store, in a rental premises, in Ontario. Store is not doing well. In December 2017, I met the owner of the premises. His lawyer was by his side. I explained him my situation. I also told him that I am selling my store and actively looking for a buyer. He offered to reduce rent by 50% from January 2018 to March 2018. He also extended payment date from 1st of the month to 15 of the month. He didn't give anything, in writing; though I sent him an email, thanking him for all concessions.He, however, deposited post dated cheque for full rent, on January 02, 2018; thus putting me in a very awkward situation. I was not expecting that cheque; therefore, it was dishonored due to non sufficient funds. I tried to contact him multiple times to discuss, but he didn't take my call. I left voice messages, but he didn't respond. I called him from a private number, which he attended. When I asked him of rent waiver or depositing the cheque, he told that was done, in error, by his Clerk. He assured that he would look into it.After two days, I received a letter, from his lawyer, which stated that my cheque was dishonored and they will have to take legal recourse to get the rent. He also asked to pay the full rent, plus a penalty of $250 for dishonored cheque. I explained that the rent was reduced to 50% and payment date was extended to January 15, 2018. He sent me another letter, stating to pay full rent plus penalty. He did not acknowledge reduction in rent or extension of date.I sent him a Bank draft by courier for 50% rent.What are the options do I have now? What can he do to recover the rent. How can I protect my business from premature shutting down? I don't have money to pay to a lawyer.They are not responding to a meeting to settle this issue, amicably.
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
1/21/2018
Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 106,014
Experience: Lawyer
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Hello! My name is Debra (formerly known as Legal Ease). Thank you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

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I am sorry to hear this.

I suggest that you write the lawyer a letter and have it delivered to the lawyer tomorrow. Set out the facts and remind the lawyer about the agreement.

Then tell the lawyer what happened. Finally indicate that his client admitted it was a mistake.

Ask the lawyer for written confirmation that they acknowledge the error was on the part of the landlord and that they are adhering the terms of the agreement.

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.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I have already sent out an email that explains everything from our meeting in December to land lord's concession, mistake on part of the clerk and land lord's utterances that it was a mistake on Clerk's part and that he would look into. His letter threatening legal recourse was sent after he received my email. He did not mention my email.My questions are - What legal recourse does he has? How can I save my store, inventory and the good-will? He has asked walk through the store to assess any damages. What does that means?

He would have to sue and you would defend. He may not have read your email.

I strongly advise you to do a letter in hard copy and deliver it or have it delivered.

He his looking to see what he would sue you for in case you damaged the premises.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I think, I am not able to communicate my concerns. I will again try to rewrite the questions, in more details:1. Rent concession to 50% and 15 days' grace period - Are they reversible?His letter says to pay full rent + $250 towards penalty, by end of the day of January 22. I have sent him a bank draft for half the amount by courier. Courier will reach him on 23 Jan. I have sent him a copy of courier receipt.2. I don't have money to pay full amount of the rent + $250 towards penalty. Can he force recovery, through legal channels, by selling my store inventory? Can I stop his walk through the store to assess damages to the property? Does he need a court order to do so?I want to understand, where I stand and what options do I have.
I did understand all those facts. You came to an agreement. The landlord erred. The landlord admitted his error. The lawyer seems not to have grasped that point. I am suggesting that you take the appropriate next step and explain that in writing but not through email. Email did not work. It is not good enough here.They do not need a court order to enter the premises. If they believe you are in default you lose a lot of the rights that you would normally have.
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
The lawyer knows everything. He understands everything. Landlord and lawyer are relatives. Both sits in the same office. Concessions were offered by the lawyer. Landlord just nodded his head in agreement. Landlord told me, in the only telephonic discussion that we had, to speak with the lawyer. The lawyer told the landlord to stay away; he would handle the issue...?My question remains unanswered - Rent concession to 50% and 15 days' grace period - Are they revocable, at the discretion of the landlord?Email is the only mode of communication. He doesn't take my phone calls. He is not giving me time for a meeting. He is not responding to my voice messages.
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
What legal protection do I have? If he goes to the court, where do I stand?
Your legal protection is that they breached the agreement you made. The lawyer isn’t going to lie in court and say there was no agreement. No lawyer would risk their reputation or their career over one client.
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Actually, lawyer and landlord are part of the same corporation. They are partners. They own multiple properties in the same location, where my store is located. Therefore, he can do anything.How can I strengthen my position, if I have to go to the court; or they take me to the court?After this question, I will not you disturb you anymore. Thanks

You are not disturbing me. You are free to continue asking questions until you truly feel we are done.

That changes things a bit I suppose not but not really. It would not make sense for the lawyer to risk being disciplined for lying in court.

The letter to them that I am suggesting will strengthen your position in court.

I don't know what more you can do at this point.

Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 106,014
Experience: Lawyer
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Debra and 87 other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I have already rated your answer with five stars

I know and thanks.

I didn't email you. If you got an email it was from the site.

Take good care.

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