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Commercial Tenancies Act (CTA)-It would seem that the application of commercially reasonable practices when it comes to storage charges against a tenant’s abandoned goods and chattels is not always the case.



The following information is prepared for information purposes only. It is not intended to express a legal opinion. In all cases where you require a legal opinion, it is recommended that you contact a lawyer. Should you have any questions or comments relating to this material, please contact Peter Balsdon at your convenience.

In the decision of Toronto-Dominion Bank v. DiFelice heard in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the presiding Justice ruled that the landlord, who had terminated the commercial tenancy for non-payment of rent, did not meet the test found in the definition of “storer” pursuant to s.1 of the Repair and Storage Liens Act (RSLA) and therefore was not entitled to charge storage on the former tenant’s abandoned assets. There was never any understanding between the landlord and the secured creditor (Toronto-Dominion Bank) that the tenant’s chattels were being stored at the request of the bank. At no time was the landlord prepared to release the secured collateral without some payment, which position is legally untenable. This case clearly denounces the concept of the landlord claiming an RSLA possessory lien right against abandoned commercial assets in which a secured creditor has interest.