Offices in Ottawa and Perth
(613) 722-1500

CONTACT US (613) 722-1500

Confirming Your Intended “Use” is Allowed for Your Lease

Confirming Your Intended “Use” is Allowed for Your Lease

By:

Posted January 30, 2020

Finding the right location for your business can be difficult. Once you find the right space, the focus often shifts to negotiating certain terms with the landlord, such as the amount of rent and the length of the lease. One important item that is often glanced over is whether the space can be utilized for what you want to accomplish. You may see similar businesses in the area and assume that if they are operating, you must be able to do so as well. However, further due diligence is necessary to ensure you do not sign a lease for a space that you cannot use as intended.

One of the most important steps to take is checking the zoning by-laws with the municipality to ensure they allow your intended use. If your use is not allowed and you begin to operate, the municipality could force you to close your location. Also, simply taking a cursory look at the by-laws is not sufficient as there can be subzones and exclusions to the general zoning for a certain location. For example, I recently had a client who was looking to open a medical office and their understanding was that this was allowed under the zoning by-laws for a location they were considering. Unfortunately, upon examining the by-laws more closely, there was an explicit exclusion that prevented the use of the location as a medical office (even though other types of offices were permitted). Luckily, my client looked into this ahead of time (before firmly committing to the space) and was able to walk away.

Even if the zoning bylaws allow for a certain use, the lease itself can also restrict the use of a certain space. In almost all leases, there is a section that outlines what a specific location can be used for so ensuring that your intended use complies with this description is extremely important. Furthermore, other tenants within the same shopping mall or complex often negotiate restrictions within their leases to limit competition from similar businesses (for example, no other dentists are allowed in the shopping complex or no other tenants can sell shoes). The landlord will then include all these restrictions in a schedule to all future leases. As a result, you need to closely examine these restrictions to make sure that will not have an adverse effect on your business.

So, the next time you find that perfect space, make sure there is nothing preventing you from using it the way you want to.

This blog post was written by Jason Peyman, a member of the Real Estate and Business Law teams.  He can be reached at 613-369-0376  or at jason.peyman@mannlawyers.com.

More Resources

Blog |
Family Law

By: 

Posted January 26, 2023

You have made the decision to separate from your partner. Now what? You have a house, a pension, maybe you have children, debts, and an[...]
Blog |
Environmental Law

By: 

Posted January 24, 2023

The Ontario government has moved ahead with changes to the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System in support of Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022. [...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

By: 

Posted January 17, 2023

While each of these cases could have its own blog post, we have decided to create a list of important cases for employers to be[...]
Blog |
Employment, Labour, and Human Rights

By: 

Posted January 10, 2023

Constructive Dismissal is an incredibly important protection for Ontario employees – one that is often used successfully to enforce employment rights. If you ask members[...]
Blog |
Estate Litigation, Wills, Trusts and Estates

By: 

Posted January 4, 2023

Executing powers of attorney is an important component of estate planning and allows individuals to decide who will manage their affairs should they become incapable[...]
Blog |
Estate Litigation, Wills, Trusts and Estates

By: 

Posted December 20, 2022

Acting as an estate trustee can be a burdensome task, and it can become particularly difficult in circumstances where beneficiaries cannot be so easily found[...]

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

"*" indicates required fields

Name*
Consent*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.