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Protection against operating cost adjustments

Expert: Julie King

Steve Walmsley asked:

Does the Consumer Protection Act cover Commercial Leases. Specifically, additional rent, which is generally estimated for the year. We received an operating costs adjustment, in which the costs were over 20% higher than estimated. What options do we have? We are located in London, Ontario.

Julie King answered:

I quickly checked the Consumer Protection Act on and this immediately caught my attention:


(2) This Act does not apply in respect of,
(f) consumer transactions for the purchase, sale or lease of real property, except transactions with respect to time share agreements as defined in section 20; and


I then checked with Sam Colalillo, spokesperson for the Ministry of Government Services, who confirmed that the Act does not apply to transactions between businesses.

However, that does not necessarily mean that your increased fees are valid. Unfortunately, we are not able to review actual lease documents and get a legal opinion on them, which would be necessary to determine if there was a problem with your fee increase.

My suggestion would be for you to schedule a brief consultation with a lawyer. If you do not have one already most lawyers will offer an initial half hour consultation free of charge.

About the author

Julie King is the co-founder and managing editor of CanadaOne, Canada's first small business portal.

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