Landlord's conduct couldn't have led tenant to believe they gave required written notice to renew

Real property - Landlord and tenant - Renewal of lease

Tenant operated restaurant and lounge in basement of commercial building. Building was purchased by party which became current landlord by assignment of lease. Amended lease expired in September 2018. Tenant brought application contending, in part, that it had exercised option to renew lease at appropriate time. It was determined that lease was not renewed. Email exchange relied upon by tenant occurred outside of notice period and could not be written notice contemplated by lease. More importantly, correspondence was far from being written notice required. Only reasonable interpretation was that tenant was looking to negotiate rent it wanted, and there was no unequivocal and clear exercise of option to renew. Throughout email exchanges, no reference to option being exercised was made. Strict requirements of waiver were not met. Communications demonstrated intention on landlord's part to negotiate rent on basis that tenant had not clearly given written notice to renew. This was not case of estoppel by silence or otherwise. When whole of conduct and emails were looked at, what landlord did or said could not have reasonably led tenant to believe they had given required written notice to renew. This was not appropriate case to exercise equitable jurisdiction to grant relief from forfeiture with respect to renewal.

2324702 Ontario v. 1305 Dundas (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 4787, 2019 ONSC 1885, S. Nakatsuru J. (Ont. S.C.J.).

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