Leasing office space in Toronto can be fraught with danger for inexperienced business owners. Here are the five most common misconceptions you probably believe. Learn how to avoid these faux pars and ensure that you choose the perfect space with a fair and reasonable lease.


Misconception #1. The Landlord Is Responsible For Legal Compliance

Many business owners fail to check who will be responsible for legal compliance when they negotiate lease terms. While the landlord should be responsible for most of the ways in which the general office space complies with Canadian laws, the tenant may still have some responsibilities. For instance, premises must be accessible for disabled people if occupancy reaches over a certain threshold. If the office space was previously leased to a business with a small number of employees, modifications such as wheelchair ramps may never have been made. A clause in the lease may stipulate that the tenants pay for this work, if required.

Misconception #2. The Tenant Has No HVAC Maintenance Responsibilities

HVAC refers to heating and cooling and may cover the air conditioning system, the heating systems and even the plumbing work. While many tenants assume that the landlord will pay for general maintenance of these systems, many lease clauses try to offload some of these costs to the tenant. Some tenants lease office space only to be landed with large repair bills for equipment they assumed would be covered by the cost of the lease. It is important to understand the terms of a lease before agreeing to it.

Misconception #3. Modifications Remain The Property Of The Tenant

Many tenants look to modify and improve office space to meet the needs of their staff. It is important to check the terms of the lease regarding ownership of modifications made to the space. This is especially true when it refers to expensive electronic goods such as flat panel screens, sound systems and lighting. Ideally, tenants should retain ownership of fixtures that they add to the building to avoid losing their right to remove these items when the lease ends.

Misconception #4. The Lease Covers Total Office Space

A common misconception is that the lease covers total office space as opposed to usable space, the latter of which is often significantly less. It is common for tenants to find that the office space they leased has significantly less space for their employees than they anticipated. A reputable realtor will help you avoid this error by explain precisely what the leased space encompasses.

Misconception #5. The Lease Includes A Right To Terminate

Leased office space should always have a right to terminate to avoid the scenario of the lease rolling over and the tenant being forced to renew. The danger of renting office space is that you may need to downsize or expand in the future depending on the success of your business. Not all leases include the same right to terminate so all tenants must carefully check this before signing.


These are the five misconceptions to be aware of when looking for office space for lease in Toronto. Being aware of these common mistakes and misunderstandings can help any business successfully rent office space.