Leasehold Improvements: Start-Up Documentation (Ontario)

18.5.3 Leasehold Improvement - Start-up Documentation.pngFollowing landlord’s review and approval of proposed Leasehold Improvement work, the tenant’s project team is to submit start-up documentation to the landlord’s assigned project manager prior to commencement of construction as part of the approval procedure.

Start-up documents consist of documents mandated by regulatory laws and regulations as well as by the landlord to ensure the health and safety of the construction site. Start-up documents also provide another opportunity for the landlord to identify potential impacts to the tenants, the base building system, and other tenant’s systems. If impacts can not be avoided due to the nature of the work, the landlord will mitigate it through established methods. That’s why start-up documents are important because they provide enough information before the start of construction that the landlord will have enough time to respond and put risk mitigation plans in place. The documentation is an important step in reducing the landlord’s risk and liability by making sure the constructor has satisfied all relevant construction laws and regulations. Below are some common required start-up documents.

Construction Schedule

Construction schedules consist of a listing of project’s milestones, activities, and deliverables with an estimated start and finish date. The purpose of a construction schedule in this case is to provide the landlord with a high level phasing of work so that enough preparation can be made beforehand to minimize disruptions to the tenants in the building. The project team is to notify on any significant changes such as start date, phasing of work, and completion dates.

General Contractor’s Health & Safety Policies

The general contractor must provide a copy of their Health & Safety Policies (H&S). Health and safety in construction is not a matter to be taken lightly. Due to the nature of the construction itself, construction sites are prone to many potential hazards and accidents leading to death or serious injury. Most of these accidents can be avoided by implementing strict health and safety protocols. The landlord would like to see the contractor take all necessary precautions to protect workers and the public from injury and accidents. The H&S policy communicates to the landlord of the contractor’s commitment to workers health and safety.

Contact List

The contact list is a comprehensive directory show all the contractor and subcontractor who are designated to work on the project. It is important the list contains emergency contact numbers and email addresses in addition to phone numbers.

Construction Building Permits

A building permit is the formal permission to begin the construction, demolition, addition or renovation. In Ontario, construction permits are issued by the local municipality after reviewing and ensuring that the construction work is appropriate and safe. Construction permits are issued on the basis that proposed construction work complies with the building code, local zoning bylaws, and other applicable laws.

Where a permit has been issued, the general contractor is to have the permit displayed at the construction site at all times during construction. A copy of all relevant City of Toronto Building Permits (ex. Building, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing) should be provided to the landlord for records.

Notice of Project

The Notice of Project (or Form 1000) is a requirement set out by the Ministry of Labour. The constructor (in most cases is the general contractor) must provide a Notice of Project to the Ministry of Labour prior to starting construction projects. More information can be found under section 6(1) of the Regulation for Construction Projects, O.Reg.213/91, Occupational Health and Safety Act. This form can be filled out and submitted via the Ministry of Labour website portal. If you prefer paper copies, Notice of Project form can be obtained from ServiceOntario publications. Required information includes the location of construction work, key contact, date of commencement, and estimated total cost of labour and materials for the project. A copy of the Notice of Project must be displayed at the construction site during construction.

WSIB Clearance Certificate

WSIB (The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) is an Ontario government agency that provides compensation and insurance for workers who are injured on the job through no-fault on their own. Starting January 1, 2013, most corporations (some exemptions apply) are mandated to enroll in WSIB coverage under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act when working in the construction industry.

The WSIB issues a clearance certificate to protect the landlord (or a principal) of liability for payment obligations to the WSIB that a contractor may have incurred during a project. A clearance is issued if all established requirements are met. To read more on WSIB, head over to their website.

Certificate of Insurance

A certificate of insurance (COI) is a document issued by an insurance company or broker proving that a certain type of insurance coverage exists. The landlord will list out specific requirements to be included in the coverage such as a minimum general liability insurance amount and names of additional insured parties.

Designated Substance Survey

A Designated Substances Survey (DSS) is an investigation to determine the presence or absence of Designated Substances or Hazardous Materials such as Asbestos, Lead Paint, or Mould. The substance survey is mandated by the Ontario Regulation 278/05, Section 10(2) of Designated Substance – Asbestos on Construction Projects and in Buildings and Repair Operations under Occupational Health and Safety Act. The act states that it is the owner’s responsibilities to have a Designated Substance Survey carried out to determine if materials likely to be handled or disturbed are asbestos-containing (whether friable or non-friable). To read more on this topic, head over to the Ontario Ministry of Labour’s website on the topic of Asbestos.

Construction Deposit

Construction deposits are submitted by the Tenant to the landlord prior to the commencement of construction, to be held with no interest accruing until such time as the required closeout documents are received to the satisfaction of the Landlord. This includes the rectification of all deficiencies, building permit closure, and a complete close-out binder. The landlord will specify the value of the deposit depending on the extent of work and it’s relative risks. The construction deposit may also be used for any outstanding fine incurred by the contractor through faults of their own.


Related Posts:

Introduction to Commercial Interior Fit-Out and Leasehold Improvements

Leasehold Improvements: Start-Up Documentation (Ontario)

Leasehold Improvements: Cutting, Coring, and Drilling (Base Building Structural Work)

Leasehold Improvements: How to Minimize the Impact of Construction on Commercial Tenants

Leasehold Improvements Site Condition: Asbestos

Leasehold Improvements Site Condition: Mould

Leasehold Improvements: How to Handle Unforeseen Site Conditions

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