Evicted Tenant Granted Relief From Forfeiture in Commercial Lease Case

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Commercial Leasing, Contract Disputes0 Comments

In Kristen Lee Nesbitt v. RJH Reinsurance Services Inc., 2014 ONSC 2643, the landlord evicted the tenant due to alleged unpaid rent, realty taxes, water bills and arrears on a demand loan for leasehold improvements.  The tenant applied to the Court for relief from forfeiture (e.g. possession of the premises) under the Commercial Tenancies Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.7, in order to continue operating its restaurant business on the premises.

Since relief from forfeiture is an equitable remedy, the Court must consider the proceedings and the conduct of the parties under the circumstances, and any such terms as to payment of rent, costs, expenses, damages, compensation, penalty or the granting of an injunction to restrain any similar breach in the future.  Justice Morgan found that the tenant did not appear to come to the Court with “unclean hands” as the dispute was regarding an accounting issue and the terms of the lease agreement, and it was not equitable to put the tenant out of business especially when the dispute may be amicably resolved with more time.

As a result, Justice Morgan granted temporary relief from forfeiture to the tenant on certain terms including requiring the tenant to pay the unpaid rent, realty taxes and water bills, and the parties to resolve the dispute relating to the lease agreement and demand loan within 60 days.

If you require legal advice regarding commercial landlord-tenant disputes, contact us for an initial consultation.

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About the Author

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.

Practitioner in Civil Litigation with a focus in insurance defence, real estate litigation, condominium disputes and commercial litigation. Bio | Contact

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