New Rental and Property Rules
The draft Rental Housing Regulations proposed changes for owners and tenant’s properties in South Africa, covering a wide range of issues, including lease agreements, deposits, rent increases and damages to property. The regulations also outline the rights and obligations of tenants and lessors, with a complete mediation and tribunal process outlined should a disagreement arise between the two parties.
– Landlord may not require payment of a rental deposit greater than two months’ rent, in addition to a reasonable deposit for utilities, keys, remote controls and the like
– If the deposit is equivalent to one month’s rent, the landlord may require the existing deposit to be “topped up.” This will be by an amount equal to the amount by which the rent payable has been increased, i.e. one month.
– The landlord may increase the rent payable in respect of any tenancy. This is provided all of the following are complied with:
*The landlord shall give the tenant notice in writing of the increase;
*The day upon which the increased rent shall become payable shall be not less than two calendar months after the date on which that notice is given;
*That notice shall specify the amount of the increased rent, and the rent shall not be increased within 12 months, and after that, on an annual basis, after the date of the commencement of the tenancy;
*Where the Tribunal has made an order which is still in force, the rent shall not be increased to an amount above the amount specified in the order
Rights and obligations of Tenant
The tenant has the following rights and obligations, subject to the lease agreement:
– Pay the rent as and when it is due and payable under the lease agreement;
– Ensure that the premises are occupied principally for residential purposes;
– Keep the premises reasonably clean and reasonably tidy;
– Notify the landlord, as soon as possible after discovery, of any damage to the premises or the need for any repairs.
On the termination of the tenancy, the tenant should:
– Vacate the premises;
– Remove all their goods from the premises;
– Leave the premises in a reasonably clean and reasonably tidy condition, and remove or arrange for the removal from the premises of all rubbish, failing which the deposit will be utilised for the cleaning and removal of rubbish. This includes the outside area and garden.
– Return to the landowner all keys and security or pass cards. This includes any such devices provided by the landowner for the use of the tenant;
– Leave in or at the premises all other items provided by the landowner for the tenant’s use.
– ensure that usage and other accounts are paid in full
– Repair items which are broken or damaged, failing which the deposit will be utilised for repairs and replacement.