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Commercial Lockouts

Also known as Termination of Lease, under the right circumstances, this allows the landlord to change the locks and take back possession of the premises, thereby severing the relationship between landlord and tenant. However, the landlord cannot also retain goods to liquidate for rent arrears.


Pursuant to the Commercial Tenancies Act. R.S.O. 1990, Commercial Landlords generally have two options:

  • to exercise their right to terminate the lease; or
  • to exercise their right to Distress. (also called Distraint)

It should be noted that for every tenant, the specific terms of the commercial lease must be considered. Even without a signed lease in place, a landlord may, in some circumstances, still exercise the right to terminate. Napier Bailiffs, having been duly appointed by the Ontario Government since 1963, has the authority to act for the landlord and has the expertise to consult with you on an individual tenant basis.

Termination: when a landlord deems it necessary to take back their premises for non-payment of rent or breach of covenant due to specific conditions imposed by the lease, the landlord retains a bailiff to deal directly with the tenant.

Terminating the lease does not in any way limit the landlord from collecting the rent arrears. In many circumstances the bailiff can negotiate an agreement that will recover the rent as well as return the rental property to the landlord.

To effect a termination the tenant must:

a) MINIMUM 15 DAYS in arrears with their rent or portion of rent. and/or

b) having received prior notice of the breech of covenant, have refused to rectify the breech (e.g. using premises for purpose other than permitted in lease).

The bailiff acting as an agent of the landlord will serve notice, change the locks, oversee the removal of all tenants’ goods, and return the premises to the landlord as quickly as possible.

To determine if your circumstances warrant a Landlord’s Distress or Termination of Lease, Reach Out.

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