TENANT/LANDLORD RELATIONSHIPS



Landlords and tenants when entering into a lease agreement, must ensure that they understand and agree to certain essential requirements for a lease agreement to come into existence.

There must be agreement regarding the dwelling to be rented out, the rental amount, when it is due and where and how it is payable (e.g., in cash, cheque, directly to landlord; agent, or into a bank account).

These are formal legal arrangements and nothing either party does willingly to assist the other, unless reduced to writing, takes on any meaning in the event of a dispute

Green property lineCASE STUDY 1

He employed an agent to find a tenant, to ensure the written lease complied with the legal requirements, and to handle the tenancy portfolio.

The agent presented a prospective tenant who was considered a good tenant. The landlord informed the tenant that since he was forced to relocate to another province, and was burdened by relocation costs and bond repayment, he would be grateful if the tenant could pay four month’s rentals in advance.

The tenant obliged and an agreement was concluded. The relationship began to deteriorate when the tenant was unable to pay the full rental and made demands not allowed by their agreement.

The landlord terminated the lease for arrear rentals.

The tenant was aggrieved at the fact that he helped his landlord by giving him the advance rentals needed to alleviate his predicament. Parties had obviously crossed their contractual boundaries.
Green property lineCASE STUDY 2

In another case, a 76 year old woman allowed a tenant to occupy a portion of her property at a reasonable rental.
 

The landlady became dependent on the tenant for simple chores and a good relationship developed between them.
When the landlady attempted to increase the rental after several years, the tenant was unable to afford the increase and paid a negligible increase.

The landlady due to her poor health and failing memory, accepted the rental, but her children later decided that the tenant had to move out and served her with a notice to vacate.

Here too the landlady and tenant had compromised their contractual relationship.

Green property lineIN CLOSING

Parties to a lease must maintain boundaries and endeavour to fulfil their obligations. This must not prevent them from ensuring a cordial relationship and to treat each other with respect and dignity.



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