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Hi! I'm a lawyer licensed in Ontario, Canada. I offer legal advice to self-represented litigants. I am happy to try to answer your questions as best I can. I understand that this can be very stressful. I will try to be as specific as possible.
Just a few things to note upfront…JustAnswer is just a legal information site.
We do not provide representation and no lawyer-client relationship is formed.
Please give me a few minutes to gather some information for you.
I do have a question. Unlike residential tenancies, there is no standard lease for commercial properties. Is there anything in your commercial lease that talks about the landlord's obligation to repair? Was there anything in the lease about the roof? Do you have anything in writing from the landlord about promising to fix the roof?
Thanks for your quick reply.
Firstly, it's always a good idea to try to get promises from your landlord in writing. If not, then you should make notes immediately after your verbal conversations to document what was arranged and discussed. For example, you could send emails to your landlord after a phone call saying, 'We just spoke, and this is what we discussed and agreed..." In case there is ever a dispute in court, this will be very helpful information and persuasive evidence of what took place, rather than relying on recollection alone.
With respect to evidence, it may be a good idea to get your own roof inspection done, and provide that information to the landlord, showing the things that require repair, and proving that it's not a new roof. This may show him he can't get away with lying, and he has to fix it.
Ultimately, if the landlord is failing to repair the roof, as he is required to do by the lease, you may have to bring an application to the Superior Court of Justice to force him to do repairs, and recover the value of the damage. Give me a moment while I gather some information on that process.
Thanks for waiting. Depending on the value of the damage caused by the landlord, you could either bring a claim (lawsuit in Superior Court or Small Claims Court for breach of contract (meaning he has breached his obligation to repair in the written contract). It would be a good idea to consult or hire a commercial tenancy lawyer to find out the potential merits of such a case. I can't provide an opinion on the legal strengths, I can only provide information on this platform.
Small Claims Court has jurisdiction for claims of a value of $35,000 or less. If the damage is worth more than $35,000, you have to bring the claim to the Superior Court of Justice.
You have two years to start a lawsuit from the date of the breach.
You're welcome! Best of luck.