LANDLORDS RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
SETTING THE RENTAL PRICE
Under South African law, the
landlords is free to negotiate any price for the property and there are
no limits or restirctions. If a tenant however feels the rent is to
high considering factors such as major damage or liveability of the
property, they may take the matter to the housing tribunal.
The tribunal may rule that a lower rental be charged, but this mostly
going to be applied to slumlord type dwellings or informal shacks,etc
where the state of the property is in question. Normal property owners
need not concern themselves about this issue.
DO NOT however use a massive rent increase to try and get rid of a
tenant - you will be exposing yourself to possible repercussions and a
tribunal hearing in favour of your tenant
MAINTAINING THE PROPERTY
In terms of the Rental Act, it is the
landlords responsibility to maintain the property in a good condition,
suitable for the purposes for which it is rented out. This obviously
does not include minor marks on the wall but would include for instance
a leaking roof.
The Act does not distinguish between the interior and exterior of the building
or clearly address the issue of appliances, fittings, pool pumps
etc.and the onus for ALL repairs therefore falls upon the landlord.
Important to note however is
that this reponsibility or parts thereof may be transferred to the
tenant by means of clauses within the lease agreement. Most common of
course is that the interior must be maintaiend by the tenant themselves
while the exterior is maintained by the landlords.
Landlords and tenants alike must be very sure that they know what is defined within the lease as what is whose responsibility.
Property Network leases as standard procedure would use the latter
example, that the tenant, fair wear and tear accepted is responsible
for the interior of the property, as well as the repair and/or
replacement of appliances. Additionally, it is specified that pool
equipment, except the pump is also the tenants responsibility.
RECEIVING RENT ON TIME
Is is a clear right within the Act
that the Landlord has the right to receive rentals on time and has
legal recourse in the event of the tenant failing to comply with this.
Very importantly, is for the lease to include a clause that any
leniency by the landlords does not restrict the landlords rights in
Do note, that the tenant has to pay the last months rent and cannot set
this off against the deposit. Landlords are cautined against giving
permission for this to happen.
ACCESS TO PROPERTY
The landlord has the right to access the property to undertake inspections, repairs etc.
This however is balanced with the tenants right to privacy and to
receive reasonable notice of the landlord wanting access. You may not
access the property without the tenants permission.
Also, Landlords may not block acces to the proeprty because of arrears or other problems unless by court order.
LEASE AGREEMENT IN WRITING
Currently, the law states that the lease does not have to be in writing but the landlords must comply if the tenant requests it.
With the new Property Rental Bill that is about to become law (Mid 2015), ALL leases will have to be reduced to writing.
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