COMMERCIAL TENANCIES - Assignment of tenancy - Landlord’s right to refuse consent

Law360 Canada (September 2, 2022, 5:57 AM EDT) -- Appeal by the plaintiff Tabriz Persian Cuisine Inc. from the decision that it had not shown that the respondent landlord acted unreasonably. The appellant owned a Persian restaurant in premises leased from the respondent landlord. In 2018, the appellant decided to sell its business. Doing so required the landlord to consent to the assignment of its lease with the appellant. The lease prohibited the landlord from unreasonably withholding or delaying its consent. Three times, the appellant found a buyer and sought the landlord’s consent. Three times, the landlord refused to consider the assignment unless the appellant met a series of conditions. Though the conditions changed through the offers, the landlord consistently asked that the appellant remove a patio it had built as an addition to its restaurant. In the third refusal to consent to the assignment, the landlord requested that the appellant remove the patio and that it discontinue parallel litigation. After the third refusal, the appellant brought an action for damages. The trial judge concluded that the appellant failed to show that the landlord’s refusal to consent was unreasonable. The trial judge found that the patio was the landlord’s primary reason for refusal. While the trial judge found that the landlord’s insistence that the appellant discontinue its parallel lawsuit was not reasonable, the judge also found that purpose to be a collateral one which did not render the landlord’s refusal unreasonable....
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