select
|

Don’t rent from a friend without a proper lease

Whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, you should always make sure your rental agreement is in writing – and this is doubly important if your agreement is with a friend or family member.
 
An oral agreement is of course binding and enforceable, notes Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, but it is difficult for either party to actually prove the terms of such an agreement, so it is much safer for all concerned to have a written rental agreement – or lease – and prevent confusion, misunderstandings and hurt feelings which could cost you a friendship or cause a family rift.
 
“The last thing you want is to end up in a bitter argument with your brother in-law about whether the rent you pay for his garden cottage includes lights and water charges, for example, or a fight with a friend about the damage done to the flat he rents from you.
 
“Rather keep things businesslike and have a written lease which clearly sets out all the terms and conditions of your agreement, and all the rights and responsibilities of each party.
 
“Landlords should also obtain written permission to do a full credit and reference check on any prospective tenant – even if they think they know the person very well. It is much easier to turn someone down at the outset than have to go through the time-consuming, costly and often hurtful process of evicting someone who has defaulted on your rent.”  
 
Standard lease documents, he advises, usually contain at least the following information:
* The contact details of both landlord and tenant, including everyday and emergency phone numbers;
* The address and description of the rental property;
* Details of any deposit required, the monthly rental amount and the duration of the tenancy;
* Landlord and tenant responsibilities and requirements;
* The procedures and notice required to cancel the lease or renew it; and
* A list of existing property defects, compiled at a joint inspection of the rental property, and signed by both parties before the tenant takes occupation.
 
Everitt says that for the sake of clarity, the lease should also detail what is to be done with the deposit a tenant pays. It should be paid into an interest-bearing account, for the benefit of the tenant, for the full duration of the tenancy. At the end of this period, the tenant will be owed the full deposit, as well as interest earned. The cost of repairing any damage the tenant might have caused to the property can, however, be deducted, as can any outstanding amount of rent the tenant owes to the landlord.
 
ISSUED BY CHAS EVERITT INTERNATIONAL


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 26 Apr 2018
      Banks are showing an increased appetite to lend according to first quarter (Q1 2018) property statistics recently released by ooba, South Africa’s leading home loan originator.
    • 26 Apr 2018
      Moving into a new home comes with such a long list of expenses that one often searches for ways to cut back on costs. Hiring a professional moving company is one of the first expenses that many buyers tend to try and work around, especially now that purse strings are even tighter owing to the VAT increase that took effect this month.
    • 26 Apr 2018
      Investors looking to buy a property offshore can potentially recoup their money faster through short-term rentals than traditional letting options, all the while earning income in a foreign currency.
    • 25 Apr 2018
      Whether you are a seasoned seller or new to the game, putting your home on the market is an exciting moment. To ensure you get the best possible outcome these 8 value adding additions to your home is worth the effort.
    • 25 Apr 2018
      After four years of unprecedented growth fuelled by semigration, the Southern suburbs market faced a number of challenges in 2017, including dwindling affordability and a marked slowing in house price growth with many sellers forced to lower their prices in order to secure a sale.
    • 25 Apr 2018
      Mall of Africa, is celebrating its second year of sensational success. This splendid super-regional shopping centre first opened on 28 April 2016, and has grown in popularity, performance and profile since then.
    • 25 Apr 2018
      While the role of trustee in a sectional title scheme is a voluntary and unpaid position, it is one that comes with huge responsibility. Trustees have a fiduciary duty towards their scheme, says Chinelle Hewit, Operations Manager at sectional title finance company Propell.
    • 24 Apr 2018
      The thing about the property ladder is that at some point in our lives we all have reason to want to climb a rung or two higher. Sometimes, it’s because we’ve outgrown our previous dream home, or because we want to be in a better neighbourhood that’s closer to work or to schools. Sometimes it’s because our circumstances have changed, and we’re taking care of elderly parents or relatives. Sometimes, it’s just because we want a property that reflects the financial status our hard work has won.
        
    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