RENTAL HOUSING TRIBUNALS
have a problem with your landlord or tenant, you should approach the
Tribunal in your province prior to entering costly legal action.
Housing Tribunals are independent bodies appointed by the Provincial
Minister to ensure stability in rental housing market and resolve
between landlords and tenants. These include problems with unfair
such as the refunding of deposits, privacy, overcrowding, exploitative
maintenance and repairs and illegal lockout or disconnection of
services or other tenant delinquencies.
comprise three to five member who have expertise in housing management,
development, and consumer matters relating to rental housing.
tribunals have the authority to arrange mediations or to subpoena
parties to a
hearing. Rulings by the tribunal are deemed to be judgments of a
Housing Tribunals operate on a provincial basis, generally falling
Human Settlements department.
tribunal seeks to:
relationships between landlords and tenants in the rental housing
disputes that arise due to unfair practices.
landlords and tenants about their rights and obligations in terms of
recommendations to relevant stakeholders.
types of disputes dealt with by the tribunal include:
promote stability in the rental housing sector in the relevant
- To create
mechanisms to deal with disputes in the rental housing sector.
facilitate, investigate, mediate and conduct hearings to resolve
- To inform
landlords and tenants of their rights and obligations should unfair and
unlawful practices arise.
to adequately maintain the rental property.
repossession of property and unlawful evictions.
to accept notice and to vacate the premises.
notices to vacate.
changes to lease agreements.
to provide monthly statements or issue receipts.
seizure of possessions.
to provide municipal services.
processes which are followed when a complaint is lodged and any tenant
landlord or group of tenants or landlords or interest group lodge
complaints to the Rental Housing Tribunal. There are
steps followed when lodging a complaint and they are as follows:
to know the facts before entering into a legally binding agreement, so
that when disputes arise they can be successfully mediated and,
if necessary, go to the Tribunal Court for final arbitration. Most
insist on valid copies of all documentation and retain any receipts
to the rental agreement.
are lodged within the Tribunal's office
Tribunal will conduct a preliminary investigation to determine whether
complaint constitute an unfair practice.
inspector may inspect the property concerned and compile a report
- If the
complaint does not relate to such a dispute, the complainant will be
- Formal hearing.
parties involved in the South African rental industry have access
to Provincial Rental Housing Tribunals, previously known as the Rent
Board, which is administered by provincial governments. The RHT’s
function is one of mediating to resolve disputes between tenants and
a much less costly alternative to private legal assistance.
whole, both tenants and landlords are protected by the law, including
Housing Act, the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act, the New
Consumer Protection Act, and the Companies’ Act of 2011. Most common
are problems arising from the incorrect interpretation, or incorrect
application of the law. This usually occurs as the result of tenants
having a limited understanding of their rights, of not fully
consequences of breaching contractual agreements, or of incompetent or
unscrupulous behavior on the part of landlords.
purposes the RHTs provide information regarding agreements, legal
deposits and refunds, rental property inspections, forced removals,
maintenance, damages, claims, as well as the dispute resolution and
arbitration process. Guidance is available on how to report cases to
closest RHT office, followed by written correspondence to relevant
providing dates, times and places for mediation.
can file counter claims against complainants which may lead to
finding a solution, or follow the process to the next step of
in the Tribunal Court. During hearings, parties or authorised
may present cases, put forward any relevant evidence, and cross examine
other, while tribunal members may question other parties. An inspection
regarding the state of the dwelling may also be discussed dependent on
adjournment of the tribunal provides for the examination of evidence
which are usually issued on the same day.
The Eastern Cape Housing
Tribunal can be contacted during office hours at
these numbers: 043 711 95 63/9622/9623/9624/9625 or fax 043 711 97
At date of updating this page, the Tribunal had still not entered the
21 century and no Email addresses were available.
Other provinces contact information will be added shortly once
confirmed details received.
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