We have a commercial rental, and when we signed our lease we could see signs of the roof leaking, landlord assured us he

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Customer: we have a commercial rental, and when we signed our lease we could see signs of the roof leaking, landlord assured us he replaced the roof. We are now dealing with mulitple leaks that is ruining all of our renovated spaces and his only answer is to have someone go up on the roof to remove snow build up.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No, we have not done any paperwork aside from trying to prevent further damage to our property inside and asked for him to repair
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Simcoe Ontario
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: we have had a few other discrepancies with him like our lease says it is approx 2000sq ft and we measured and it is only 1650 not sure how much approximately covers
Answered by TamarF in 31 mins 1 year ago
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TamarF
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TamarF, Expert

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.

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TamarF, Expert

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?

Customer
We have nothing in writing for the current situation aside from our original lease which is pictured above. He has guys there today that are simply removing Current snow buildup but this is not the first time we have had leaking and he said he repaired it last time
Customer
He also stated very clearly before we signed the lease that he recently had a new roof I stalled which the guys that are there now said there is no way the current roof is anywhere near new.
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TamarF, Expert

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.

Customer
Thank you
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TamarF, Expert

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.

Customer
Ok. Thank you for your help.
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TamarF, Expert

You're welcome! Best of luck.

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