select
|

There’s no reason to run from Rental Tribunals

The words “rental tribunal” are apt to strike fear into the hearts of both landlords and tenants, but there is actually nothing at all scary about the way these organisations resolve rental complaints and disputes. And their service is free to all parties.
 
“The provincial Rental Tribunals established in terms of the Rental Housing Act of 1999 are in fact some of the best examples we have in SA of how fair the application of the law can be in practice,” says Andrew Schaefer, MD of leading national property management company Trafalgar.
 
“These tribunals are made up of independent experts from civil society whosefunction is to end unfair practices and resolve tenant and landlord disputes by objectively applying the provisions of the Act and the specific rental housing regulations for that province – not by subjectively trying to decide who is right and who is wrong.
 
“In short, the tribunals are impartial, their decisions are equitable, and the process they follow to reach these decisions is highly accessible (free) and totally transparent. Credibility is a big plus.”
 
Another advantage of taking a landlord/ tenant dispute to a Rental Tribunal, he says, is that it takes the “heat” out of the argument and can prevent much unpleasantness and personal enmity. “The tribunals will always try to achieve a mediated solution before setting up a hearing, and many matters are actually resolved at this stage simply because the parties are given a chance to calm down and look at things from a different perspective.The participation of an independent and credible third party is always helpful.”
 
However, says Schaefer, any ruling that is made by a Rental Tribunal is final and binding. “It carries the same weight as an Order of Court made by a magistrate’s court, so anyone who does not comply with it risks having to pay a large fine or even imprisonment. And that means that any instruction given by a Rental Tribunal to end an unfair practice or a dispute tends to be followed.”
 
As for the sort of unfair practices and problems the tribunals can deal with, he says, there is a very long list, includingthe non-payment of rental due, no refund of a security deposit, overcrowding, unlawful seizure of a tenant’s goods, illegal lockout, tenants engaging in nuisance behaviour, maintenance not being attended to and rental increases deemed excessive.
 
“And it is easy to set the resolution process in motion. All the tenant or the landlord has to do is lodge a complaint with their local Rental Tribunal, and a case manager will take it from there. A file with all the details of the complaint and any counter-complaints will be opened, then all the relevant parties will be informed in writing aboutwhere and when the matter will be mediated or heard, and what information or witnesses they need to bring.
 
“Consequently, we believe that both tenants and landlords have everything to gain by making use of the Rental Tribunals instead of taking matters into their own hands when a dispute arises - although it can unfortunately take a several weeks for a matter to be resolved in some of the larger offices due to the large volume of cases they are dealing with.”


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 22 Feb 2018
      An excellent credit score is one of the most priceless assets a potential home buyer can have. This tool has the power to secure favorable mortgage and refinancing rate, influencing everything from the size of the loan repayment to the interest rate on the home loan.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      What do you do if you love your home’s location and the area, but the home no longer fits your growing family’s needs? Do you stay and renovate your existing home or find a home that meets your developing criteria?
    • 22 Feb 2018
      While every owner wants to sell their property at the best possible price, overpricing a home can be the kiss of death for a sale.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      These days most buyers are using online property portals like Private Property when house hunting due to the convenience, up to date information and variety on offer. “The property portals have revolutionised the way buyers shop, but they do need to be cautious – viewing photos online is no replacement for viewing the property in person,” says Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      Owning a home is a milestone that most South Africans aspire to. Becoming a homeowner is a step towards growing personal wealth and owning an asset that appreciates in value over time, provided of course that the correct principles are applied during the buying stage of the process, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Feb 2018
      The suburb of Greenstone in Johannesburg east came to be over the last two decades. “In the beginning, it was literally just a hill with not so much as a shopping centre,” says Michael Levy, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Bedfordview. Today it has plenty shopping facilities and is fully built, boasting high-density, upmarket housing and residential estates, though still has a few pockets poised for commercial development.
        
    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