The Hudson’s Bay has filed a lawsuit against the landlords of Toronto shopping malls including the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in North York and the Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga. The lawsuit alleges the failure to operate and maintain “first class shopping centres,” the department store stated that Oxford Properties Retail Holdings is in breach of their lease agreements and the contractual duty of good faith.
In a statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court, HBC alleges that Oxford Properties has refused to deliver suitable premises since reopening after COVID-19 shutdowns.
The claims have not been tested in court.
The Hudson’s Bay Company was also accused of failing to pay their rents since April. In a statement from Oxford Properties:
HBC has not paid rent since April 1 at most of our shopping centres across Canada, and seven months of recurring attempts to engage the company in a constructive dialogue were repeatedly ignored.
“Recently, HBC has begun to raise frivolous and self-serving complaints concerning the operations of multiple shopping centres in a transparently disingenuous attempt to retroactively justify its decision to stop paying rent.”
HBC claims that shopping centres such as Yorkdale Mall has failed or refused to adapt to the ongoing pandemic and does not provide an environment that the consumers view as safe or attractive. Their lawsuit hopes to delay any further rents being paid and rent forgiveness since April 2020.
Oxford, as well as Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust, filed lawsuits against HBC earlier this month alleging the department store hadn’t paid its bills at multiple locations since April. All allegations are still to be proven in the court of law.