select
|

The new Rental Housing Amendment Bill is on South Africa's doorstep

Although there is as yet no finality on when it will be enacted, the new Rental Housing Amendment Bill will almost certainly at some stage in the not-too-distant future be on the statute books and, says Shaun Groves, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s Rental Franchise division, every landlord should be aware of the changes that the new act will bring about (it should be noted, however, that the act will only be enforced six months after it has been enacted).

“One of the main successes”, said Groves, “is that where it previously (in terms of the Rental Housing Act of 1999) was stipulated that a rental agreement had to be in writing, only if the tenant asked for this – with the result that many agreements were only verbal – the new act insists that a lease has to be written and that certain specific clauses have to be contained within it.”

Although they have not yet been issued, provision has, it is said, been made by the relevant Government department to make standard leases available in all eleven official languages. However, said Groves, he would go along with such legal firms as Smith Tabata Buchanan Boyes, who have recommended that these should be checked by an attorney operating in the landlord’s area and familiar with the special provisions that frequently apply to certain rented properties.

Among the other conditions which now become mandatory in terms of the new act, said Groves, is that it lays down that the tenant is entitled to receive written receipts for all the payments and that these have to include details of the address of the rented premises and whether the payment was for arrears, the deposit or standard rent (this condition was in fact implied in the existing act but often not acted on).

The new act, said Groves, tightened up the wording as regards to the landlord’s duties to maintain the premises at all times — and on time — without undue delays.  However, the wording here “to ensure that a building is fit or suitable to live in” could, says Groves, be open to a wide variety of interpretations.

The new ruling would ensure that all local authorities will have to establish a rental housing information office and every province will now have to have a Rental Housing Tribunal.

“As rental agreements have been abused both by landlords and by tenants, there was a serious need for advisory and decision making facilities of the kind now proposed”, said Groves. “This will therefore be welcome.”

The ruling as regards the final inspection to be done by the landlord and the tenant when a lease expires has also been slightly altered:  it is now the landlord’s duty to arrange this joint inspection with the tenant.  It is difficult to see how this is an improvement on the previous arrangement which places the responsibility of the inspection on both the landlord and tenant jointly.  However, the tenant, anxious to complete this process and get his deposit back as quickly as possible, will presumably, said Groves, still have the right to ask for such an inspection at the earliest possible date.

The final clause in the new act which states that the landlord must provide the necessary “facilities” is open to a wide range of interpretations, and could lead to disputes, said Groves.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 19 Jan 2018
      Extending from Randfontein in the west to Roodepoort in the east and including the towns of Krugersdorp and Magaliesburg, the West Rand has a plethora of property available to residents who choose to make this unique area their home.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      When it comes to financial planning, doing the work to ensure you’re prepared for unexpected emergencies is just as important as ticking off your other goals and New Year’s resolutions. The beginning of the year is also the perfect time to review your various insurance policies.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      No surprises at the first Monetary Policy Committee of 2018, as Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, announced that the interest rates would stay at their current levels.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      The Southern Suburbs make up some of the most popular residential areas in Cape Town, comprising charming groups of suburbs which lie to the south-east of the slopes of Table Mountain. It is seen as the city's most expensive residential neighbourhoods with a choice of various private schools, upmarket eateries, wine estates, beautiful homes and trendy apartments.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      New year, new goals! If you’ve resolved to purchase your first property in 2018, then this 6-step guide from the Rawson Property Group is a must-read. It will help you navigate and simplify what is often be seen as a confusing process of buying your first home – right from the house-hunt to the house-warming.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      While the current property market may still favour buyers, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be well prepared before putting in an offer to purchase.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      Lightstone lists Blair Atholl as the most expensive suburb with an average house price of R11.2 million, followed by Westcliff (R10.5 million), Dunkeld (R9.3 million), Sandhurst (R9.1 million) and Inanda (R7.2 million).
    • 17 Jan 2018
      As it currently stands, there are four main ways in which a home can be bought in South Africa, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who adds that deciding in which legal entity to purchase the property is not a decision that should be entered into lightly, as each has its pros and cons.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK