Proudly Serving all of Ontario

Commercial Terminations & Distress

Pursuant to the Commercial Tenancies Act

We offer professional Bailiff services to help recover unpaid rent or breaches of other lease covenants, on behalf of landlords, or property managers.  Only the landlord or an Appointed / licensed Bailiff in Ontario can do commercial terminations or distress in Ontario.

There are basically two services available to the landlord:

Termination of the Tenancy

In this particular instance, a professional Bailiff will attend the premises, post the necessary Notice of Termination (which we prepare on your behalf) and change the locks. A Termination does not allow the landlord to retain any of the tenants’ goods and chattels. This style is merely an action to require the tenant to remove all non-fixed assets from the premises within a specified period, without damage to the premises.  In some cases, this remedy can be effective to recover rents. Fifteen days must expire from the date rent is due to effect a Termination unless the lease states otherwise. There is the rare situation where a tenant doesn’t remove their property within the time indicated on the Notice of Termination, which may result in the tenants’ property being deemed “abandoned”. These abandoned goods and chattels may be sold or disposed of.   It is best to consult with the bailiff on the best course of action on abandoned goods, to ensure no property is in fact leased, or third-party property, and to ensure the landlord’s rights are protected.



A Distress, or sometimes called a Distrain, is a visit to the premises by a professional bailiff who will either serve or post the Notice of Distress (which we prepare on your behalf), Statement of Arrears and Inventory of Seized Goods and Chattels and seize goods and chattels, in order to recover all arrears plus any costs incurred.  Once the assets are seized by the bailiff, an inventory is taken and served upon the tenant, and two sworn appraisals are obtained. If an arrangement is not concluded in the five (5) days after distress between the landlord (or their agent) and the tenant, then we hold a sale to dispose of the seized assets to realize the arrears and costs. This procedure can be affected the day after rent is due.  


We will provide a full accounting in writing, and complete payout process. Under Distress, there are a number of methods available to affect the process, which we would discuss beforehand as certain factors may determine the best action to take.


It should also be noted that a landlord’s right to Distress takes priority status over secured parties, with the exception of certain consignment agreements, leases or some sales contracts. There are other super-priorities such as unpaid CRA debts.