On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, the commercial leasing members of the Real Estate and Land Development Group hosted a Commercial Leasing Crash Course Seminar to provide an update and overview of several relevant topics in commercial leasing law. Clients, bankers, accountants and brokers gathered at the London Club to enjoy presentations on the following:

  • Ian Shewan, Practice Group Leader of the Business Law Group, addressed Non-Disturbance Agreements, why they are needed, how commercial leases can address them, typical terms which ought to be included and the problems which can arise from these agreements.
  • David Woodward, Practice Group Leader of the Real Estate and Land Development Group, discussed Municipal Leases, the process that municipalities must follow to enter into these leases, issues with respect to transparency and accountability, deemed land sales confidentiality under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and conflicts of interest.
  • David Lyons discussed surrender provisions and provided tips on negotiating lease buyouts, including relevant provisions that could impact a surrender of the lease, the costs of surrendering, creative options to avoid early surrender of the lease and terms which are typically included in a Surrender Agreement.
  • Joseph Hentz provided an update on current environmental considerations in commercial leases including previous contamination of lands, contamination by a tenant during the lease term and contamination by third parties, offering various strategies to limit liability and assign risk under the lease. An update was provided with respect to liability of interested persons and the broad powers which can be exercised by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to issue orders preventing contamination and requiring remediation of contaminated land.
  • Nicholas Cummings addressed how smaller tenants can approach negotiations with a landlord when there is an imbalance in bargaining power, including an overview of several provisions which should be reviewed to avoid excessive costs, disruptions to a tenant's business and unreasonable risks being placed on the tenant.

This review of commercial leasing topics addressed issues which are relevant to landlords, tenants, brokers and lenders and provided practical information useful to negotiating, drafting and enforcing commercial leases. We are looking forward to hosting more seminars in the new year that we hope will be informative and useful for our guests. Please watch for invitations in our Building Success newsletter.