select
|

Tenants and landlords should know their rights

One of the most important aspects that potential landlords should consider before deciding to let out a property is a tenant’s rights and what implications they have if the contract turns bad at any stage during the period that the tenant occupies the property, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

“Times have changed over the years and removing a tenant from a property is far more difficult than it used to be, even if that tenant is defaulting on their monthly payment. Landlords who overlook a tenant’s rights and use illegal or unfair methods to remove the delinquent tenant from the property will be dealt with severely by the courts. This emphasises the importance of researching tenant’s legal rights, along with thoroughly vetting all potential tenants before they take occupation of a property,” says Goslett.

He notes that anyone considering letting out a residential property should familiarise themselves with the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act (PIE) Act. “While the Act has been in effect for some time, with access to so much more information, tenants are becoming far more aware of their rights and landlords need to know what they can and cannot do. Although the systems were put in place to protect both parties, the Act weighs in the tenant’s favour,” says Goslett. “A landlord cannot under any circumstances resort to eviction tactics such as changing the locks, cutting off water and electricity or forcibly removing a tenant that hasn’t paid rent without receiving authority from the courts to do so.”

“As much has tenants have rights and those rights should be protected, it is also the responsibility of the tenant to ensure that they keep to their end of the agreement and look after the property as if it were their own,” says Goslett.

According to Goslett, the relationship between the tenant and landlord should be based on mutual respect with both parties benefiting from the arrangement. A tenant should ensure that the rent is paid timeously on a monthly basis and the landlord needs to ensure that the property is maintained and kept in a satisfactory condition.

He notes that the Rental Housing Tribunal administers the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999, facilitating relations between tenants and landlords. The responsibilities of the Tribunal include advising tenants and landlords of their rights and obligations as well as resolving issues. The Housing Tribunal has mediating facilities and if the issue cannot be resolved over the table, then a hearing will be called. It is worth noting that a ruling of the Tribunal is deemed to be an order of a magistrate ‘s court in terms of the Magistrate ‘s  Court Act,1944 (Act No 32 of 1944).

The most common issues raised with the Tribunal include:

• Failure to refund deposits
• Unlawful notice to vacate
• Exorbitant increases in the rental
• Failure to pay rent
• Unlawful seizure of possessions
• Failure to reduce the lease to writing 

It is important for landlords to do their research and handle their rental portfolio in a professional manner erring on the side of caution.  “Landlords have certain obligations and procedures that they need to adhere to. The landlord needs to know these procedures, just has it is equally important for tenants to become familiar with their rights.

“Landlords and tenants who can maintain a good relationship will reap the rewards of a mutually beneficial agreement,” Goslett concludes.


  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