I run a small business and I am currently in the process of looking for commercial space. Do I need a Lawyer to review the lease?
A commercial lease is a complex legal document. In addition to the usual but important commercial provisions such as the term of the lease and monthly rentals, there are numerous other commercial and legal provisions and terms that may significantly increase costs or may otherwise adversely affect your business.
Most commercial leases are not in a standard form and vary substantially from each other. This significantly complicates review by anyone other than the most experienced business person or professional advisor because even seemingly minor variations may have a significant impact on costs or legal rights. A simple example is in respect of the leasehold improvements that a landlord builds for you at the commencement of the lease. You might expect, correctly, that those improvements belong to the landlord at the end of the lease. You might not expect that the lease may provide the Landlord with the option requiring you to pay the cost of tearing out those improvements at the end of the term - yet some leases provide exactly that. A Landlord has a legitimate interest in knowing who their tenant is, and thus many leases provide for restrictions on assignment. At the same time, you may wish to sell your business sometime in the future, and want to know that you can do so without being unfairly restricted by your landlord. In our experience, most landlords are willing to negotiate one-sided assignment restrictions to provisions that more fairly balance their concerns with your business objectives.
The commercial lease is often the first or second largest expense line after salaries and wages and accordingly requires careful consideration. A Lawyer with experience in commercial leasing matters can review your lease and provide you with comments and advice enabling you to obtain a commercial leasing arrangement that meets your business’ needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Section 76 of the Ontario Condominium Act (the “Act”) provides for what is called a “Status Certificate”. Every condo purchase should be contingent upon review of the Status Certificate and a condominium corporation must provide a status certificate for a condominium unit upon request. The Status Certificate is used to learn all about the condominium corporation and provide the buyer with much of the documentation required for review. The Act sets out what must be contained in all Status Certificates, some of which includes:
- Disclosure of all outstanding judgments against the corporation and the status of any legal proceedings to which the condominium corporation is a party;
- A statement of any upcoming major repairs;
- A statement of the common expenses for the unit and any default on the payment of those expenses;
- A copy of the current budget of the corporation; and
- A statement about the most recent reserve fund study and the amount in the reserve fund. (The reserve fund is used for performing major repairs of the common elements of the condo corporation.)
Attached to the Status Certificate are the rules and regulations of the condominium used for governing common elements such as hallways, lobbies and balconies. A real estate Lawyer can review these rules and explain them so that you understand what your rights and obligations are as condo owners.
Remember that according to the Act, the condo corporation may charge a prescribed fee for providing you with the Status Certificate
We are buying our first home. The bank insists that we add my father as a co-owner of the home since in order to qualify for the mortgage amount that we need to include both incomes. The entire down payment is coming from our savings and we will be making all the mortgage payments. I really don’t want to include my father. What are your suggestions?
Guarantor of the mortgage v. being registered on title as owner
Adding a person that is not going to be living at the property as a co-owner is generally not recommended, unless you are buying an investment property. You should talk to your bank whether it would be sufficient to have your father as a guarantor on the mortgage, rather than a co-owner.
If the bank still insists on your father’s ownership, there are ways to structure the co-ownership in order to protect everyone’s interest and to minimize your father’s exposure to any tax related consequences of owning a second home.
Joint Tenancy and Tenancy in Common
There are two ways how two or more individuals can own a real property together. They can either own it as joint tenants or as tenants in common. The main difference between the two is that people who own a property as joint tenants have a right of survivorship, meaning that if either one of them dies, his or her ownership share passes automatically to the other surviving joint tenants. This is in contrast with tenancy in common, which does not have a right of survivorship, meaning that the share of the deceased tenant in common becomes part of such person’s estates. With tenancy in common you can also specify a size of a share that each co-owner owns. For example, your father can own 1% share of the home and you and your spouse remaining 99% share, with all of you owning the home as tenants in common, to make sure that your and your spouse’s share becomes part of your estate rather than transferring to your father in case something happens to both of you.
A lot of people wrestle with the idea of whether they need a real estate Lawyer to handle small real estate transactions. They are unsure if they should hire a real estate law firm Kanata property buyers have hired to help them. The answer is always going to be yes when it comes to hiring a real estate Lawyer to navigate any type of real property transactions.
A good real estate Lawyer is on your side, that means they are looking out for your best interest and will ensure that your interests are protected. Real estate law firms specialize in real property law and deliver the support that you need.
When Do You Need to Consult With a Lawyer?
A lot of times buyers will just let the sellers’ Lawyer manage the real estate transaction, unfortunately, this can be a mistake. Whether you are buying or selling, you want to have your own real estate Lawyer on your side.
You want to be sure that you are getting the support that you need to make an informed decision about your real estate transactions and the only way to do that is by hiring an expert in real estate law. You need a real estate Lawyer when:
- You are buying residential property, commercial property, or land
- You are selling residential property, commercial property, or land
- You are ready to sign a contract for the purchase or sale of property (before you sign)
Having the trusted advice of a real estate law firm Ottawa residents have gotten support from can ensure that you are making informed decisions about your transactions. The ideal time to hire a real estate Lawyer is before you sign the purchase contract.
Knowing exactly what you are agreeing to gives you the power to go into the situation with your eyes wide open. A Lawyer that specializes in real estate will review your contract, provide feedback, and help you negotiate the best deal.
It is important that you have an Lawyer on your side for any type of real estate transaction no matter how small or large. Protecting your interests should be a priority for you and an Lawyer can do that.
Get the legal support that you need to have the peace of mind that you want.