Rents can be freely negotiated in South Africa.However, the tenant can file a complaint with the Rental Housing Tribunal if the landlord is charging too much rent for poor-quality accommodation. The tribunal can order the landlord to reduce the rent if the building is not well maintained.
There is no restriction on the size of deposit, but it must be stated in the contract.
The landlord must invest the money in an interest-bearing account, and the interest rate must not be lower than the rate applicable to a savings account. Within 14 to 21 days of the end of the lease, the landlord must return the security deposit, with interest.
The landlord cannot prematurely end a fixed-term lease.
If the tenant remains in the unit after the end of the fixed term with the express or tacit consent of the landlord, the lease is deemed to be a periodic lease. Periodic leases can be terminated by giving a month’s written notice.
If the tenant refuses to vacate the property after the expiration of the lease, the landlord must obtain a summons from the court. If the tenant decides to respond to a summons, he or his lawyer must file within three days the “Notice of intention to defend” printed at the back of the summons. A hearing will take place. The court may then issue an eviction order. The landlord must supplement this with a warrant of eviction, stamped by the court. Under the law, notice must be given two weeks in advance before the tenant is evicted.
If the tenant poses an immediate threat to the landlord, then the landlord can file for a “summary judgment.” A summary judgment allows the sheriff to evict the tenant even if the case is still being heard in the court.
To fight off an eviction, the tenant can claim a right of retention, a right to stay in the house until the landlord compensates the tenant for any improvements made on the house.
The Sheriff with the help of the police carries out the eviction. If the tenant owes rent, the court can order the sheriff to attach the tenant’s properties to the house. It means the sheriff can take the tenant’s properties and sell them to compensate the landlord. A landlord can also file for an “interdict,” preventing the tenant from taking his things as long as the arrears are not paid.
EVICTION FOR NON-PAYMENT OF RENT
|Duration until completion of service of process||10|
|Duration of trial||189|
|Duration of enforcement||10|
|Total Days to Evict Tenant||209|
|Courts: The Lex Mundi Project|
The Rental Housing Act [No.50 of 1999] provides for the establishment of Rental Housing Tribunals in all provinces of South Africa and grants them the authority to settle disputes between tenants and landlords. So far only three of the nine provinces have created housing tribunals, Gauteng, Western Cape, and North West.
Rental Housing Tribunals use the same procedures as a Labor Court and give rulings with the same power as those of a magistrate’s court. The tribunal has 30 days to help the parties reach a solution. If any party is not satisfied with the proceedings of the tribunal, he may take the case to the High Court.
Rental Housing Act [No.50 of 1999] repealed rent control which had been in place since 1976. It governs the relationship between the landlord and the tenant and applies to all written and verbal agreements made, effective August 1, 2000.
#1 MELANIE | March 16, 2010
Does a real estate agent have the authority to cut your electricity
#2 NIVOSHINI SUBBAN-REDDI | March 29, 2010
I am placing a months notice with my landlord today.
I move out at the end of April. I paid a deposit of R2300.00 (1 months rent) when I moved in. My rent is now R3700.00. Can my deposit (R2300.00) replace my last months rent or do I pay her the difference of R1400.00?
#3 CAROL | March 29, 2010
We paid a deposit + a months rent at the end of January and moved into our new home at the beginning of February 2010. Last month I arrived home 1 afternoon to find a FOR SALE sign on the verge outside our home. I was totally shocked! Now the Agents are telling me that I have to allow the owner viewing rights as the owners want to sell. What are my rights in this instance? I'm becoming so frustrated because I'm paying lots for rent and when I signed the lease, I should've received a remote for the lug. To-date I don't have one nor has the owner repaired and handed over remotes from the "supposed automated" driveway gate. What do I do???
#4 LORETTA | March 31, 2010
I live overseas and have let an agent lease out my property in Kwa-zulu Natal (Durban).
The previous tenents still owe us money for the previous months rent.
How do we go about getting our money fom the the previous tenants at a minimal cost.
#5 DAYALAN | April 01, 2010
Hi i would like to know how many months notice must a landlord give his tenant before eviction,and also what can i do if my landlord doesn't give me the interest on my deposit i paid.
#6 A.M.A | April 13, 2010
Hi, I haven't signed a formal lease agreement with my landlord but we mutually agreed that I would lease the house for an initial period of 1 year.
After moving in and staying there for the first month, the landlord then came to me with a store bought lease stating that i have access to the house for 6months only... when asked about it, he replied that he didnt write it out himself and that his wife had made the mistake- he also said that i shouldnt worry and he would just automatically renew it when it expired.
I did not sign this document because of a few problems i found in the house that needed fixing. The landlord acknowledged all of the problems- (Leaking roof etc.)and told me that he would be fixing it soon... this was 6 months ago and still nothing.
I just recieved an sms 2 days ago stating that the new tennants will be moving in on the 1st may.
Is this legal?
Is there anything I can do?
Do I need to move out?
I have not skipped any rent payments and i have improved the property wherever possible.
My main question is, can he force me out of this property in this manner if I am not in default in any way? even though we do not have a formal contract?
#7 LISA | April 26, 2010
we signed a lease for twelve months,but recently found out that a bank approved an application for a home loan that was a late estate and was only approved months later, now my question is, our contract states that we have signed for 12 monts, but isnt it law that if you want to move out before your lease is up you need to give one months notice?
#8 LOUIS VAN HEERDEN | April 26, 2010
i am currently renting a place through a property agent . the contract on expires on the 28th of febuary 2010 . the property in question was advertised with shaded parking which it does not have . when we asked about it they said it would be fixed . there was also a fault list which we have filled in which not one of the faults have been repaired . i have made several request since the time i moved in ( 2 months ago ) but still nothing has been done . the property gate also keeps falling apart making acces into the property easy for anybody making it unsafe for me . further more the roof leaks in which has cost me my laptop and scanner because the rain fell on top of these items damaging them . the replacement cost of these two items is R6952-00 . I have offered the property agents 1 months rent and the inspection fee as a penalty for early termination of my contract which they declined . all of the above mentioned problems were mentioned in my fault report on inspection .
#9 PENNY | April 27, 2010
My husband and I moved into a complex in Jhb in August 2008. We signed a 12 month lease. Our landlady was overseas, so when the lease expired, we extended for another 6 months. She said she would send us another lease to sign, but never did. she then moved back to SA and still did not give us anything to sign. We then asked for another 6 month extension on email, but she never replied on email, but did say we could stay on for another 6 months verbally when we met. An again she said she would send us a lease to sign, but never did. So we had a verbal agreement to stay on untill august 2010. On 24 March she phoned us to give us notice to move out by 1st May. When I tried to argue, she said any contract states that a month's notice is sufficient.Anyway, we went looking for a place to rent and found one for 1st April. When I called her and said we found a place, she said we were still liable for the rent for April, and as no-one can afford to pay rent at 2 places, we lost the next place. And because of the world cup coming up, it has been really difficult to find a place.
we eventually found a place, and can move in on 1st May. Our landlady is now telling us that we have to be out of her place by 12pm on the 30th April. Can she do that? She says it is SA law... and the agent from our next place says that's rubbish as everyone moves on the 1st. We wouldn't have a problem with it, but we can't get into our new place untill the 1st. And SHE sent us an email stating, "...30th being your last day of occupation. please make sure your move is co-ordinated to finished, and the unit cleaned by 13h00 1st May." -she is now going back on what we agreed on.When we tried to defend ourselves, she said, "but we don't even have a lease"!!!!! And, she said if we are not out, she has keys to the apartment anyway, so there wouldn't be a problem. Needless to say we are very angry.
We have been more than accomodating towards her. She asked to come store her pot plants, (which are more like 20 potted trees!!!!)on our patio's, and we said yes. On a seperate occasion,She arrived with no appointment on a sunday afternoon to come "measure". And there is lots more that we can go into detail with, but it is too much to type.
I would just like to know if she has a right to treat us so badly and say she is right by SA law?
Please help me, as I am so so upset by this whole thing.
#10 CINDY | May 07, 2010
hi property I am renting will be going on auction in 2 weeks.landlord owes me deposit plus money used for repairs.i have not paid him rental for this month as I want him to offset it from what he owes me.i know he wount be able to pay me back the deposit and money owed --i am moving out end of May.Can he evict me without a court order.
#11 TAMMY NELL | May 12, 2010
I started renting a flat July 2007 and had a years lease. In early 2008 the entire building was sold and we got new landlords. They did let us know that they would be selling off the individual flats but we could stay there untill such time as they had done so. They never gave me a new lease when my old one expired July 2008. This year 15 March i got a notice saying that i had to vacate the flat by no later than May 31. I immediately called them and let them know i would be out of the flat by the end of March and asked them for a letter of reference and my 2months deposit. I did not hear from them again. I moved out at the end of the month and still heard nothing from them. i handed in the keys at their offices but they were out to luch and was unable to talk to them about my reclaiming my deposit. I called them again a few days ago after almost a month of being out of the flat and they told me that they would not be giving me my deposit back as I moved out before the end of May and they were still expecting rent for the next 2months!!!
Surely this is not right as they never gave me a new lease and they gave me notice?
#12 LIZ | May 13, 2010
Hi, I am renting a bachelor flat from a lady that runs a bed and breakfast (which I don't think is registered). She made me sign a contract of R1500 per month with a deposit of R1500, I have been in the flat since November 2009, the contract said that the rental would be increased every year at the rate of 5% which is R75, now she is saying that I will have to pay R200 more, which is contrary to the contract. When I said that the contract said 5%, she told me that the contract would not hold up in court, and if I don't pay the R200 increase she will give me 24hours notice to move out. She constantly tells me what I can and cannot do in my flat. She constantly interfears with everything I do, please advise on what my rights are.
#13 PRINCESS | May 14, 2010
November 2008 i moved to east london and found a place advertised in the dispatch.Upon viewing the flatlet and desperate to find a place i liked but the so called agent asked for a deposit to hold the keys and i gave her 800 rands to secure the keys and wrote me a receipt of 800 and then asked me back for the receipt and added that in the event of not taking the place i will lose the 800 and deposit was 2500 now 2010 after her deductions of 1900 she is not willing to pay for my deposit phone is unreachable what must i do.
#14 RHODA | May 15, 2010
my parents let out their house, the occupiers let out the garden cottage without them knowing... now i had to move into the property but was left with this women in the cottage... she said she wants to move out at the end of the month, she never paid at the end of last month,what should or can i do as she is using my electric and water and even has her brother staying there when it was let as a single persons flat..not by my parents..the person who rented from them... we had nothing to do with this person renting our property
#15 MYRA | May 21, 2010
my daughter is renting a place and the landlord just comes into her place when she is at work without telling her, her rent includes lights and water, while she was away and had paid the rent her switched off her electricty to save money and all her food went off on her return, when her father phone him to enquire what was happening, he has threated her that should her family enter the premises her would have us arrested for trespassing, what rights do we have
#16 LANDLORD | May 21, 2010
I would appreciate advice on the what constitutes structure of the Premises:
Is this a broken pane of glass, a faulty door handle, a leaking shower, a rickety post box.
I would appreciate a clearer definition of what comprises the structure of a premises.
12.2 The Lessor shall be obliged to:
12.2.1 Keep the structure of the Premises and the roof in a state of good repair.
#17 LEI | May 22, 2010
we signed a lease for twelve months,but recently found out that a bank approved an application for a home loan that was a late estate and was only approved months later, now my question is, our contract states that we have signed for 12 monts, but isnt it law that if you want to move out before your lease is up you need to give one months notice?
#18 NERESH PREMCHUND | May 24, 2010
We have rented a house from my wifes sister and her husband for the past 5 years with no contract.We have
been paying the same about of rent and my wife and I have had a few disagreements and they have given use notice to move from the property.I am going to be retreched at the end of May 2010. What rights to I have as a tenant.
#19 IRMELA SCHIRMER | May 24, 2010
If patio furniture gets slolen while having tenants in the house, who is liable for that. They were part of the inventory list handed to the tenants by the agent. The tenants had moved out of the house before the contract expired, did pay for the rent till the end but the furniture was stolen in the last month while the house was standing empty.
#20 ANNOYED TENANT | May 31, 2010
estate agents have been handling our property, they have to date failed to allow us to meet with the owners of the property, a major problem we had was the main gate for the main sliding door, the previous tenants didnt give the key, the agents got an unprofessional guy that bust the gate, for the past 6 months we have a cable tie tying up the gate, we held back the rent and they still didnt sort it out, last month i paid R1000 extra for this months rent, the agent took the R1000 and said its for penalties for late payments and phone calls(which was only made regarding the gate) are they allowed to do such a thing as R1000 is alot of money for me.
#21 SANDY NAIDOO | May 31, 2010
Is there a % increase on rent and what is it? I am placing my notice at the end of June 2010 and would like to know if the deposit that i put in will cover the rent for the last month that i live there or do i need to pay the difference as the rent has increase in the years that i'm living there?
#22 MRS CHEN | June 01, 2010
My family has recently moved out of a unit we rented for 3 years. On the last day of the lease i conducted a complete walkthur of the unit where the landlord my no comments whatsoever regarding any irregular wear and tear which i believe did not exist. Now the landlord has submitted a invoice to me for some R1800 more that the amount of my deposit (R4800 total) for what i believe are normal wear and tear items given the 3 year lease duration. I believe items such as repainting the unit and fixing odds and ends are surly considered normal. what is my best course of action to deal with this dis-genuine landlord?
#23 RON | June 02, 2010
A little over a year ago I signed an offer to purchase a property (before going to auction) in the Western Cape. My deposit and all legal fees were immediately paid. Unfortunately I have since been treated terribly by the bank and its legal representatives - precisely 1 year and 1 day later the house was finally transferred into my name. I now have two problems:
1. The previous owners (who had defaulted on payment to the bank leading to auctioning of the house) are STILL in the property although I have been advised that the property should be vacant. They are refusing to vacate the property.
2. The abovementioned have done damage to my property and have removed a wendy house, which I have also been advised was included as the house was sold 'voetstoots'. I am now considering laying charges of intrusion, malicious damage to property and theft.
I am seeking advise on the abovementioned points please. I am in a situation where my family has been forced to live in a small rented apartment for the last year - and now, not only am I paying the costs for both the bond as well as my rent but also the tenants electricity and utilities bill.
What can I do in this situation - please help me.
#24 ADOLF | June 02, 2010
i have tennants that refuse to pay rent, water or lights account. they refuse to move out although i gave them notice, i want to fix my house up and remove woodborer, they refuse to budge, what can i do?? only have 3months left in south africa
#25 PRUDENCE SULIMAN | June 02, 2010
My tennants stayed for over a year and did not pay the lights and water account. The agreement with the agent was that i woul pay the rates and tax and tennants would pay lights and water. The accoun amounts to R12,000 currently. What can i do?
#26 MRS PILLAY | June 07, 2010
My tenant had another family of 5 living on the leased property periodically for several days at a time without our knowledge or consent. When we discovered this per accident, we called up a meeting to say this is not allowed and unfair on the other tenants on the property as thw water is shared pro-rata. They agreed and said that they will not let them stay anymore. A few weeks later they had this same family stay over again for several days without our knowledge. Also this other family comes in during the day when no-one is there and use the facilities without our knowledge. We had a meeting again and now our tenant wants to prematurely terminate their lease agreement with us, because they are unhappy. They owe us rental for several months previously - they lost their job, so we helped them to stay on condition that they will pay us back all outstanding rentals. When they started worked they have paid back some of the balance but still owe us a lot more. Now they refuse to pay us the outstanding balance before they leave. Can you advise without any legal drama as it will cost them a lot more money and their debt will become bigger than what is due. We have a signed lease in place and an acknowledgement of debt. Our lease agreement also states that all costs incurred in recovering our money will be borne by the lessee. They also forfeit their deposit if the lease is terminated prematurely.
#27 OMPHEMETSE | June 08, 2010
I've signed a lease form for the flat on November 2009 and it expires on November 2010, but now i moved out of the flat and the landlord says I can't get my deposit back even though he already found someone to occupy the flat. Is this right accoding to the law?
When i gave the notice in April he asked me to find people to occupy the flat which i did so he now refuse to give my deposit. what should as they people occupying the flat.
#28 MG | June 18, 2010
I've been renting a flat since 1 January 2001. The owner requested that we sign a new lease for one year, which were signed during January 2010. In the new lease the notice period was 1 month. I sent an letter via e-mail informing the owner that I will be vacating the flat end May 2010. He never contacted me and when I called him, he informed me that he never received the letter, even though it was faxed to the correct number. I resend it together with proof that it was send on 1 May 2010. He now insist that I pay another months rent, as he says that he needs the money.
I ask him whether he invested my deposit (2 months rent)and he said no, but his accountant will calculated the interest earned. Can I insist in a detailed statement of interest earned, as there have been many changes up to date ?
Will appreciate some legal advice.
#29 LEANNE | June 22, 2010
I entered a lease agreement on 01 October 2009 for a years lease..I run my own business from home and have paid my rental every month but a few days late..every month I pay an extra 10% for late payment..my business has now closed due to the ressesion and have taken on a permenant job starting 01 July..due to these circumstanses I have been unable to pay my rent for June..my landlord has now advised that I need tomove out end of june..next week..can he do this??on such sort notice..I have pleaded with him to please give me a months notice so I can at least earn a salary end of july so I can find somewhere else to stay..I also paid a month and a halfs deposit..please advise urgently..thks
#30 TAZ | July 05, 2010
I have served one months notice to my Agent b1st July - 31st July 2010, because we are immigrating. I am now panicking as I am not sure if the visa's will come through before we move out on 31 July. Can I retrach/remove my notice? I know there is another couple who have singed a lease agreement and is moving in on 1 August 2010. What are my rights in this regard. I prefer to stay there until I get word from Immigration, please help
#31 CEDRIC | July 05, 2010
My wife and I just moved in a new place.
We have been very surprise when we saw the tax statement at the end of this month.
We now have to pay for several things that never been said before we moved in, as for exemple sewerage or most surprising we have to pay a VAT of 14%???
Is this legal?
#32 CANDY | July 05, 2010
I have a tenant who has been in my house since March 2009. The tenant has not paid me any rent sincee January 2010. The agent who rents the property for me did not inform me of this until I checked my bank account and then I had to contact him. He explained that the teant had lost his job and he (the agent) was trying to negotiate some sort of repayment schedule with the tenant. None of this was communicated to me and I feel that hte agent has been in dereliction of hus duty. I pay him 15% of the rental income every month and am now in a situation where I am in arrears on my other bond and have not been informed one way or the other by the agent whether or not this situation is resolved. I lie inthe UK and my house is in Kwa-zulu Natal. I wonder if you could give me the name of someone who could advise me, or if you could tell me what my rights are as a landlord.
#33 VANESSA | July 13, 2010
We signed for a 2 year rental on a house, which we have been living in for 1y & 1m now. The owner of the house gave us 3 months notice, via the estate agent that we are dealing with, ad we need to be out in the next three weeks, end of July. We did confirm that we would move out, if we can find another place by that time, which has been impossible. We then saw a house that we want to rent, but is only available in the next 2 months, we have no where else to move to, have dogs to look after and no where to place them, cause the cost is so high for 2months and our furniture & belongings would need to be stored for 2months as well. Has the owner have the right to make us move out or not, although we said per e-mail addressed to him, but about a month after the e-mail when he contacted me, i did confirm that we have not found a house as yet, which is true. Now we have, but it's not final, cause we don't have anywhere else to move to, because the owner is holding us responsible for our e-mail sent to him and verbally. What are our options and will we be aloud to stay in this house for another 2months, until we can move to the new house that we really want. Thanks V
#34 LYNDALE | July 14, 2010
Hi, I currently have a problem with tenants who have stopped paying their rental and water & lights. They have since changed thier contact details and do not respond to e-mails. Can I evict the tenants purely on the fact that they are not paying their rent and water & lights. I want to give them a months' notice.
#35 GEORGE | July 14, 2010
I have bought a place in a caravan park. I pay a monthly rent. Can the owner of the caravan park give me 7 day's notice for any reason. What about the money i paid to buy the place. It was bough from the previous people that also rented. But they also bough the place from someone els. The owner of the caravan park did not sell the place to me but the caravan park belongs to him.
#36 NIKI | July 15, 2010
We have tenants who have been staying in our garden cottage since 1 May 2010. Even though we have repeatedly asked for the signed lease they have not signed it. They say that the reason is that there are a couple of things they want fixing first, ie a dripping tap and a leaky basin. we have already agreed to do the repairs but want the signed lease back first. Also the tenants agreed to pay off their deposit but, to date, have not done so. My question is this - can we evict the tenants as they refuse to sign the lease and have not paid any deposit? If so what is the procedure for this? I have heard that the SA law is on the side of the tenant and that they have "squatters rights" and can occupy the property indefinately. is this true? if so what rights do we, the landolord, have? please please advise me as we are desparate.
#37 SUE | July 19, 2010
Can anyone help? My son and his fiance has been renting a property for 22 months without a geyser. They were never told the geyser was not connected until they told the landlord about the hot water being a problem. As we are living next door to them and renting from the same landlady they are using our geyser and our electricity is shy high. She has increased their rent and still o geyser. is there anyone I can contact to come and look at the property and give me an estimate of what one pays for a property with no geyser? They are paying R2700 for a 2 bedroomed place.
#38 PATRICK | July 26, 2010
Hi, I live in a flat and I will like to know who should be paying the plumbers if the drainage system is always blocking. Because the agency of the flat where I stay insists that I pay for unblocking the drain, but I only stayed there for two months. And the said thing is that the drain is not completely unblocked, meaning soon enough the plumbers will be called again and I want to know whose money will be paying everytime. What rights do I have in this because the drainage system of that flat is old and is not being maintained at all.
#39 DEBBIE | July 26, 2010
My landlady charged me 15% of the rental pernalty for paying the rent 2 days late. Is this legal
#40 BRENDA | July 27, 2010
I would like to find out I have been renting a room in a house for 2 months and in the third I have lost my job.Ive agreed to leave the property but the wont release my possessions, what can I do
#41 DWIGHT | July 28, 2010
I have been occupying a house since January 2010, with a rent to buy option. The home loans applications were made, where the owner was serving as an Agent herself to the selling of the house (she is an agent in one of the housing agencies in PTA).My applications were not successful due to a number of reasons - though i still occupied the house paying rent on a monthly basis. The owner also promised that i must not worry as she will give me time to re-apply for the home loan. Landlord has been docking & diving for us to sign the contract of rental - the only one that was signed was for Purchase Agreement, where the rental is not covered in extensively. Until she send me an sms on the 26 July 2010 that i am suppose to out her house by the 19th August 2010 as she wants to occupy the house - the one that she was staying in has been sold. But she accepted the rental when i deposited money on the 24 July 2010. Is there a Law or preventative measures that one can take to prevent this barbaric manner from the Landlord/Agent. For me signing the Purchasing Agreement without a detail rental clause, can it yield a positive winning streak in this regard?
#42 THEMBI | July 30, 2010
I was having a one year lease agreement with a landlord that approach me to rent her house, and after a year I renewed the contract, then in May I bought my own place then ask her if I can extend the contract until end of June since I was leasing my place, she refused, then I looked for someone to take over my contract and she agreed then I moved out in end of Jne and she came to inspect the place, I indicated to her that since I will not be staying, she can use my deposit as my monthly rental for Juily I will add the R140 which was short and she agreed verbally but insisting that I pay the rent which I refused, I then gave her the keys saying that she will tak eresponsibility of anything that will be borken and she refused, then aI negotiated with the person taking over my agreement to move into the flat, and I indicate to the landlord which she said its ok as it is my resposnibility, she went behind then phone the new lessee and take the keys saying she wants to paint, and on the 15 I paid the R140 to make up for the July rent including deposit, then on the 30th she faxed me a statement of water and the R140 , which I indicated that it was paid, as for the water I asked if she cannot use the interests gained from the deposit and she became angry threatening to make me pay for the admin fee and new contract fee (of the new tenant) which I refused to pay since it was not indicated on the contract and I never received receipt indicating I have to pay for admin fee of R15p/m for municipal account handling...She als said I must pay for the late payment of rent by using the deposit which is around R380, I demanded for the interests and she included it which means I now have to pay R116.67.Please advice.
#43 ELIZE | August 02, 2010
It is not always possible for me to pay my rent on the 1st of the month, but it is always paid in full by the 7th. Could you please advise if the Landlord can charge m e interest for the days after the 1st, up until the 7th. For example, if I pay on the 4th, can he charge me interest for 3 days, from 1st - 3rd of the month?
I'd also like to know if my landlord has the right to prohibit me from parking in the street in front of the flat, for short periods of time (a couple of hours, or sometimes overnight). It is a very wide road, my car causes no obstructions to anyone or their property. He says it makes the street look like 'Kyalitsha'. (I drive a late model Volvo! Thanks, Elize
#44 XANEA BESTER | August 04, 2010
I have a tennant in my property for the past 20months of which he has only had a agreement for 6months and refuses to leave or pay utilities he pays rent but has got behind I want him out how must I go about getting him out the letting agent went bust and left me in this mess help regards XANEA
#45 LIEZEL | August 05, 2010
Hi, a friend of mine and i have signed a lease agreement for a period of 1yr from 1st of september 2009 till 31st of august 2010. We've paid R2000 deposit plus rental upfront, moved in, but had lots of problems with windows that was broken and not closing properly, kitchen cupboards whose doors was broken and had electricity problems to name but only a few. We told landlord about all these bt then he would only make empty promises to fix it. Only fixed some of it 2mnths before contract ends. End of june we told him that we're looking for place and moving out end of july, even though our contract expires the end of august. Tried phoning him a few days later to confirm that we did find another flat, but he wasn't picking up his phone, send him an sms nonetheless. Now he doesn't want to give our deposit back and said that we only gave notice a few days before month end, although we told him in advance and he even send a letter stating that we must be out by the end of july. Please give advice on what to do.
#46 AJ | August 08, 2010
My previous landlord threatened to take me to a lawyer because i did not want to leave the key to the place i was vacating with the guard so she could do the insepction without me. She did the inspection and has decided to deduct money for steamcleaning the carpets. I had the unit professionally cleaned before i moved out and always maintained it in a neat condition - How do i stop her from doing this?
#47 DALANO | August 11, 2010
I have a problem with Rental pros ,,In Pretoria,,,they so slow in paying back my deposit ,,as there moved other people while I was still moving out ,,,they have payed thier full deposit ,,,and now they promised to pay my money today ,,,but still not in ,,,what should i do ??
#48 SEPHULA | August 12, 2010
My house was reneted by Estate Agent but for the past 4 month she is struggling to get rental for me and she is not evicting my tenats too, tell me what is witihin my rights as they are staying free of charge while I'm paying bond for them.Im in SA in Durban,please let me know if someone can assist me.
#49 MIKE | August 12, 2010
I have a tennant who hasnt paid rent for 4 months. I contacted the Tribunal and they sent him a letter which he hasnt responded to. Nothing has changed in another month and the Tribunal employees are now on strike. The Housing Tribunal is another ineffective government department.
#50 TANELE | August 12, 2010
Hi,I have a problem,I have been renting a flat for 5 years and have alwyas paid on time until last year.The company I was working for shut down and due to that I am now owing 2 months rent on my flat.I mad arrangements with the agent to pay whatever I can on top of the rent to cover the arrears.We do not have a lease beecause after I lost my job the agency decided to run on a monthly basis.But today I recieved an sms stating that I have to pay the arrears by Friday the 13th and if not I must immediately vacate the premises.Is there anything I can do to stop this?
#51 LINDA STOLS | August 17, 2010
the house i was renting was very expensive and i was short paying each month. i signed a lease for a year but was at the house for nearly 3 years. i found a much cheaper house but had to move in straight away. i spoke to the owner (an estate agent) and said i would pay for damages and what i owed him in water and lights and arrears, but i now received the final account and he has charged me for the rent for august but i am not staying there and he knows i cannot afford to pay him the extra R5500.00 rent. is there anything i can do.
#52 JS | August 18, 2010
I was renting a unit for 2 years from my landlord. Prior to us leaving,he wanted the carpets to be cleaned. On the penultimate day he was there to inspect the house & mentioned that everything was in very good nick. Two days later after reconciling my account, I had enquired about the interest on my deposit. He became agitated & said that it was not part of the signed contract BUT would give me R200 back for the R4300 deposit over 2 years.He has now deducted R2600 for repairs from the deposit & given me a quote & not even an invoice from some handyman.
#53 LINDA | August 26, 2010
I just want to know, I moved into a rental townhouse 1st june,my statement for july states an amount for electricity, but does the electricity not work 3 months behind. I paid extra in to go into a credit for when my elec bill comes but they now claim that was for June's usage.
#54 CAMILLE ASHTON | August 28, 2010
Thank you for this informative article. I am a Landlord in the process of selling my property. I have remained transparant with my tenants about this but i find that trying to make an arrangement for a prospective buyer to view premises is impossible. My tenant is not being receptive and avoiding my calls. What are my rights? www.lessor.co.za
#55 N.N | August 30, 2010
I moved to a flat in December 2008 and the lease termination is 2 months but I want to terminate my lease in 1 month as in 1st September 2010 my deposit was R5000.00.How much can a landlord charge me on this or cancelattion fee is there is any PLEASE HELP!. Thanks.N.N
#56 DAVID HOLLAND | August 31, 2010
hey there ive lived in a particular block of flats for four years know and have never had any sort of work done on my flats(every flat gets repainted for new tenants)however i have always had excuses as to why it was not done for me. i recently tried to get help from the supervisor to no avail,i typed my landlord a letter stating what needed to be done,he assured me it would be done and just handed the letter back to the supervisor(shocking news,hes done nothing) im paying R3500.00 for my flat when i was previously paying R2700.00 the point of my move was for a better living space,how do i get my repairs done? my toilet barely flushes,my front door needs to be slammed to close,my kitchen cupboards dont close etc
#57 BETTY FORD | September 23, 2010
I'm having problems with my landlord.I'm renting the house on her property and there's another tenant in her flat.She accesses the property whenever she feels like it and when I complain about it she says the other tenant let her in.Is there something I can do about it?Surely I have the right to some privacy?I have spoken to her about it but she just carries on doing what she wants.
#58 JAME | September 28, 2010
Good day. I would just like to find out if a landlord can withhold a security deposit if we gave notice in the time aggreed on the contract and moved out. The landlord wanted us to leave a.s.a.p as he had other people that wanted to move in. We left and the other people didn't move into the house for more than a month after we moved out and in that period there was a break in and a lot of pipes and taps we stolen out of the house. now they dont want to pay back our deposite to cover that damages. can they do that?
#59 THABISO | October 07, 2010
We just moved out of a flat that we had rented from 01 october 2009 to 30 September 2010. Then rental agents did their inspection on their own and came with the below findings of which we want to dispute:
1. Paint all the walls with marks
2. Clean the unit
3. Steam clean the carpet
4. Paint bathroom ceiling and clean other ceilings
5. Replace 7 globes
The only note we agree with the number 2 but the rest we want to dispute.
1. Painting of the walls should be borne by the owner as we left no marks on the walls.
2. We cleaned the carpets and we made sure the carpet were in the same state we found them.
3. The owner used water paint to paint the bathroom ceiling, water paint does not protect the ceiling against moisture and we adviced the rental agents to tell the owner to use PVA for the ceilings or else all the tenants that are going to occupy this flat will fall victims to their deposit being withheld or a heavy deduction due to the moisture on the bathroom ceiling.
4. We left the globes in working conditions, we actually replaced the globes with the one that has a long life span and saves electricity with our own money hence we disagree with the inspection report.
How do we go about disputing this as we need our deposit back so that we can pay for the flat that we intend to rent on the 1st of November 2010?
#60 COOKIE | October 08, 2010
I rented a furnished room (R2400.00 per month)and paid the deposit thereof. I stayed at the rented room for three months and gave my landlord a one months' notice to vacate the place. When I move out the Landlord demanded the keys to the room (though he has a spare set which he always used to enter my room in my absence).I refused and kept the keys since he still had to give my deposit back. I still have not received my deposit and still have the keys. Everytime I contact him he tells me he is still trying to have someone occupy the room I vacated and that he will only pay me when that happens. According to my understanding (information I get from browsing the net), the landlord is supposed to lodge his tenants' deposit with an approved government scheme and not use it to his own advantage. It seems I am not the first person he did that to. Two more people left without their deposits and up till now are still battling to have him pay them back. What do I do with this situation. If I leave this unresolved he will keep doing it to his tenants and get away with it.
#61 MABBEZ | November 04, 2010
I have tenants renting my house out. Their lease expires end January 2011. When they moved in put put in new carpets in all bedrooms, as well as new cupboards in the whole house. The last time I went to check the house, it was FILTHY, carpets were dirty and the house in a state. Two months ago their electricity bill was at R5000, I visited them to inform them they need to bring it down. On 1st November 2010 their bill still hadn't been settled, and it has since doubled. I have since requested a disconnection procedure, and will be lifted only if they pay up. How do I ensure they pay up before they leave as I only have R7500 of their deposit, and it wont cover the electricity bill and cleaning the house.
#62 NADINE | November 26, 2010
Hi. The leased I signed states that "The lessee be responsible for the maintenance, repair, upkeep and/or decoration, as the case may be, of the interior of the property including all ceilings, all wall and floor coverings, all doors and windows, all cooking, heating, cooling, lighting, plumbing, etc..." The toilet cistern has a crack in, and the flushing mechanism is cracked, so the toilet does not fill with water and leaks. Just the part cost R100. The stove/oven had a short and tripped all the power. The repair cost R600. My landlord insists that according to my contract (mentioned above) I am responsible for fixing these. Both these items are old, and is general wear and tear. Can she legally force me to pay for these repairs?
#63 MELANIE | January 10, 2011
hi - please need prof advice. We just finished our one year lease. It ended end of dec - our contract states, if we wish not to continue our lease, we must give 2 monhts notice (that being 1 Oct). We did not,thought we could stay on. In the beginnng of dec, I saw the perfect house (more affordable) - we gave notice on 6 dec. Now my landlord does not count dec and says we can only move out end of feb. Is that legal in South Africa? Now I will loose the new place. Thanks
#64 GARGI | January 17, 2011
We moved to this place last year. When we moved we were so impressed with the so called landlady who claimed to be owner of the whole building in Illovo, Gauteng and promised us lots of things which will get fixed after we moved and we were so happy initially, but soon we realize the dark side of the whole trap. The house was unbearably cold and nothing was fixed which includes windows and then we ask them that we want to move and the lady told us â€ś we can't leave the property unless we complete the initially period of one year leaseâ€ť, so yeah we are new to this country and this was our second experience of going to a rental place and we decided to stay and suffer in the cold house waiting for Jan to come so that we can move and now in Jan when we told her that we want to move, and before that also in November we specifically informed her that we will be not be renewing our lease after the Jan. She is now forcing us to live till March end... we just feel like trapped by some illegal land mafia here and really donâ€™t know what to do in this situation. We also got to know she actually never owned any property she claimed and she works for a company and this is the same company which runs â€śStudent Villageâ€ť in Bramley, Gauteng. My question is where I should go to complain about such behavior where I am forced to live for extra three months even after the initial period of Lease over.
#65 CARMEN | January 25, 2011
Hi were signed a lease agreement for 12 months and now we have decided to relocate to another province we have valid documents proving this> the lease was from the 1 april to end of march will we be able to get our security deposit back help help plz
#66 ROSIE | March 06, 2011
I moved into a place last year. I shared with friend and both our names were on the lease. I paid my rent on time she did not. We decided to terminate the lease this year< on termination the landlord has inspected the property all is in order, she delayed on paying my deposit back, her excuse being that she needed the electricity account. I went to city power waited an hour and a half got the account emailed t to her and she still refuses to pay. Its now 20 days over since I moved out and I might lose my new apartment.
#67 ANDY | April 06, 2011
Pls help...my wife and i have recently completed our lease of a house, however the kids from next door messed up the garage walls by kicking a ball agaist the wall. We however were still prepared to paint the walls but are working on quotes.The landlord has now simply taken R1700 from my R5000 deposit without me agreeing or my consent for her to proceed. Is this legal?? Does she not need my consent to take money off or even give me the opportunity to paint the place myself?? Does she also by law need to pay me interest on the deposit... i am desperate for a legal view as i cannot afford a lawyer. Thanks
#68 ELDA | May 19, 2011
I need some assistance please. My husband and I signed a lease contract for a year in October 2010. This is an estate that is advertised as this SECURE estate. On 1st December 2010 we were robbed in our house while we were sleeping. 2weeks later 5houses was robbed in one night. So much for secure. We wanted to get out of the estate but was told that we cant due to our contract. So we left it at that. Then on a couple of occations the body corporate oak would just prance in to our yard to come do an "inspection". Also we had no access to read our electricity meter as the estate is registered as 1 property at the municipality. Then when they get the bill then they divide the amount between the number of proberties in the estate. Then in March 2011 the break-ins starte to happen again. We said well thats that we want to move. Yet again got told that we have to find another tennant to take over the current lease contract that we have. So we did the estate agents job for them. We got another tennant. We moved out on 1st May 2011 and we are still waiting for our deposit back. The estate agent did the inspection and said all is fine. it is now 18 days later and we still dont have our deposit? What can we do??
#69 MS READ | September 02, 2011
I responded to an ad under gumtree for accommodation (a flat) to rent. The rental amount stated was R3500 upfront, inclusive of water & electricity and a deposit of R3500. We only have a verbal agreement as the landlord didn't want to be bound to a long lease in case the landlord/tenant relationship didn't work out. I agreed to it. He also stated that the interest of my deposit is for his benefit as his paying the electricity. I didn't know at the time that it is against the law that he keeps the interest on my deposit, so I didn't say anything.
After 5 months of staying there, on the 1st Aug, he approached me while on my way to work, saying that the rent is increasing with R500 to an amount of R4000 from the 1st Sept, ie more than the usual 10% after 12months. I told him I can not afford it, it is not viable and that an increase is only applicable after 12 months. He informed me if I don't pay the increased amount I must give notice as it is the 1st of the month, after which I told him I can not give notice until I have other suitable accommodation. He also said it will be cheaper for him to let the property stay empty. Later that day I sent them an email saying if they insist on me paying the increased amount I will have no option but to give notice, however, I'd like to get together to discuss this so we can solve it amicable. I never heard anything from them and we never did get together or talked about it again (due to them being away, me being away while I was re-locating my elderly parents and packed up there home, work obligations, inconvenient hours, etc.)
Yesterday, on the morning of 1 Sep @11h45, the landlord banged on my door stating that the rental amount I have paid in is incorrect and due to the increase in electricity spending, everyone's rent is going up by R500, meaning a total of R2000pm (the other tenants pay even less than me, so their % increase is even higher!). I again told him I can't afford it, that it is an illegal increase after which he just shrugged his shoulders and told me in that case his giving me 1month notice and I must vacate the property by the end of the month. He also told me that he's put the house up for sale and doesn't know when the sale will go through or what will happen to the tenants. He also said that he's bringing some interested parties into the flat at 13h00 for viewing. The notice he gave me was less than an hour prior to me having to go to work, which I don't find reasonable. He told me 3 times his giving me notice and then ended by saying I must let him know what I'm going to do. He again said it will be cheaper for him to have the flat stand empty.
This morning, again on my way to work, he approached me wanting to know my decision and I told him, he's given me notice so I started looking for alternative accommodation, in which case he replied in that case he's bringing someone interested in today to view the flat, without making an appointment with me or giving me any reasonable time. He has a key and can enter at his own free range, without my knowlegde and without making a decent appointment.
I'd like to know how can I ensure that I get my full deposit back without him deducting the additional R500 rent for Aug, as well as the interest that must legally come to me, as he is just not interested in hearing anything about him operating illegally? I did ask him for receipts of all the monies that I've paid them, but have not yet received anything. I make use of internet payment and send confirmation sms's, so that's the only paperwork I have.
#70 NTSIKA | November 16, 2011
The property agent want to charge me money to come and inspecting the flat, is this fair practice or just a rip off by the agent?
#71 ROBI | January 03, 2012
We have just started renting, Landlord has requested a deposit (which I have no problem with), but he has other commitments and needs my deposit. This is not right, what is my legal stand point here regarding my deposit? the landlord is now also requesting that i pay his bank charges when I pay my rent? Is this even right? who covers my bank charges when I EFT to him? can anyone give me some advise...
#72 KATHLEEN | March 19, 2012
Can the agency sent out a demand for payment of electricity bill and demand payment on the same day?
#73 NAOMI | March 27, 2012
I need advice please, I've been renting a townhouse for six months and are moving out at the end on this month. Today I've received a bill from my landlord for the levies for the last 2 months. Never have their been a conversation and neither is it written in my contract that I am liable for levies. I have brought this under his attention and he is stating because I've paid my rental late a few times, is his reason for billing me the levies. Please advise as my rent is currently paid to date and I am concern that he will keep a portion of my deposit to settle this.
#74 PHILIP EVANS | April 12, 2012
My partner and I recently moved into a cottage on a plot in Gauteng. We were not informed that we share a geyser with the adjoining cottage. We discovered this when we started complaining that there is often not enough hot water on our side to bath. The owner then installed another secondhand geyser outside, but the one in the roof was disconnected, so we are still sharing one geyser. As we are still in the same situation, not enough hot water, the owner refuses to do anything about it. What recourse as rent paying tenants do we have?
#75 JUDITH | July 18, 2012
I'm owning a Flat Unit and we are getting our electricity bill from the Body corporate and they over charge us, sometimes he send us the bill with the amount which is 5 times over the previous month. If we ask him why is the our electricity goes up like that he says he made a mistake he'll fix it in the mean time he comes and switches off the our electricity. When we ask him that we need to install prepaid meter he said we've got no voice because he's owning most of the flats in the building so there fore he has the finally say whether we want to install the prepaid meter or not he is the one who is suppose to give us permission to install. It's like we are in jail the place is leaking water and he's charging us the levies for maintanance the amount which is more that is more than the amount we pay for the Bond. Please I need help as I'm writing this comment he did switch off our electricity he said we were owing , we did pay but still he does not want to switch on our electricity please can someone help me how do we sort this problem.
#76 MARIZHCA | July 25, 2012
i am renting from a agency, two weeks ago my neighbour ( who also renting from the agency) called me and said the landlord(whom i never met in my life) is there to do inspection, i told her to ask him if he can come the following morning as i was at work at that moment at would only be comeing of at 8- she sms me back and said, he said that its fine. as i got home that night at 8.30 i realized my door was wide open and all my furniture gone! a note was left, that he is the landlord and he has taken my stuff and that i owe him 11 500.00 coz i alleged stole power from him, as i moved thru my empty house, i realized that my bike has been taken, pot plants broke, and that my clothing has been thrown on the law, i contact the number on the scrapy peace of paper left for me, i asked him where my things are, and who he is, he said hes the owner and he requires me to pay the 11500.00 which includes the truck he needed to get to remove my stuff!!!? cleaning and painting and removal of rubish which he never did in a year. i have phoned the agency, and they said they didnt know anything about it. they even asked me 3 days later while i was still without electricity, and sleeping on a matress on the floor -if id like to renew my lease hahahaha!now ive read on the internet that they have a bad reputation when it comes to giving back deposits.... ive been to the police station, small claims and legal aid, with no help at all. now was wondering if i can refuse to pay my rent ?
#77 ELISA | July 26, 2012
i am currently on a one year lease in a unit. what i need to know is, am i responsible for all the costs including levies? i am a bit confused on that part since the landlord told me that i am responsible. the rlevies are quite high. what are my rights as a tenant on this matter? pls advise
#78 CIE-ANN | July 30, 2012
I just signed a lease about 3 days ago. When I applied for the unit a applied for a specific one and after I signed the lease they put me in a different unit that has a lot of damages to it. The water outlets stink as if something died down there. I feel like I was scammed being shown one thing and put into something completely different. I want to know if I can get my deposit back? Do I have any grounds to stand on?
#79 SARAH | August 08, 2012
Hi, i need urgent advice please. i am currently renting a place in edenvale for the past 2 years obviously extending on a month to month basis. I have had a few personal issues and were late with my rent on i think 3 or less occassions. nevertheless i have informed my landlord about the situation. Just because i short paid for that period of time, i have had a letter of demand sent to my work place and been listed on TPN. so everytime i requested confirmation of removal from TPN i never got a response from this woman. Even though it is secured, it's not the best of places cos everything in the place seems to fall apart. I have also on several occassions paid more than the usual rental amount but nothing credited for that. I am now told that i have been given 2 months to vacate the premises which is 30 September. I had a deposit of R5500 paid, nothing of the deposit has been mentioned in the letter. My rent is up to date, i don't have anything outstanding. I am finding it difficult to find a place in such short notice as everything is so expensive a i will have to have a new deposit and 1st months rent.
Do i have grounds to say that my landlord will have to find me a place first before having me moved out. What are the implications? Please advise urgently as this is really stressful. Your assistance in this regard will be greatly appreciated.
#80 MASONTAHA MAHLATSI | October 10, 2012
We moved into a private property in the beginning of July this year. Since the landlord seemed trustworthy she had been telling us she will bring a lease up to date. Last month about two weeks before month end she called me and told me we must move out by the beginning of November as she is renting out the whole house to the person who has got bigger family and we must move out. In passing her husband which she claimed will be handling the rentals said the lease period is one year. She took our deposit R2500 which is the same as rent money. By the end of last month September, I asked her to come and inspect the house so that we will use the deposit for rent as we will need that rent money to deposit another place as she gave us a short notice to move out. She refused and she said the law indicates that she will only give us our deposit when she gets her keys. S=We are the family of four and my kids goes to the school closer to where we are staying and we moved to that place cause kids would stay at home as their dad is sick and sometimes no one was able to drive them to school, She offered us a place about 30minutes or more drive to from school, moreover that place has got a diggs (where the students are renting)and the fact that my husband is sick and my babies are still young to grow in such environment. What are my right towards this and which actions must I take.
#81 HERMAN VENTER | May 01, 2013
I am renting a property through a Property agency and I am paying my water & lights account every month at the agency together with my monthly rent. Now my power has been cut due to non payment of electricity and property rates. The manager of the agency said it is not his fault and he will try to speak to the owners but it is out of his hands. How do I resolve this?
#82 CARYN | May 14, 2013
I live abroad and am renting my house out. My rental agency is responsible for collecting the rent and paying my levy. They keep making late levy payments (although the rent is paid on time) and I keep getting penalties. Should I be expected to pay those penalties every time or is there anything I can do about this?
#83 LEAH | June 12, 2013
I rented a room in a complex on the evening of 28 Feb 2013. The tentant is an estate agent. I moved out 15 May 2013. I have been e-mail the person I rented the room from for the deposit and he always comes up with an excuse and now he is avoiding me completely. What should I do in this situation?
#84 SHANE | June 22, 2013
I need help me and my fiance moved in to small flat payed my deposit and first months rent.
As the landlord requested when we moved in i went and made list of every thing broken inside the flat like cupboard shelf's being broken and couple of other things me and the landlord never signed a lease agreement and couple month later he tells me that his going to put up the rent with 16% that was fine just thought that was fair because of the water and light going up and all that
and now about a year later when i want to move out he tels me that i have to fix everything in the place and i ask him where is the list i gave him with what was wrong in the place now he tells me i never gave him a list and for some stupid reason i never made a copy of the list for my self and he wants me to fix everything in the place my fiance had to come 2 days before we moved in to clean the place scrubbing the bathroom tiles and walls on her knee's for 2 days the place was in bad shape and now he wants to repaint and fix all the cupboards with my deposit so please i need some help please can someone help me don't know what to do
#85 RENE | August 28, 2013
Good day I really hope you be able to advise.we are renting a house and have over a few months received court orders for the owner that he owes money on it.we gave it to him and he would just say dont worry my laywer will take care of it. Today another notice was deliver which stated that the house will be on auction on 19 Sept 2013. What right do we as tenants have? I luckily have found another place but my rent will be R2000 more per month.thanks
#86 LALITHA MOODLEY | September 02, 2013
Good Day I hope you can help me. I'm 1 day late with my rental payment and my landlord is threatning to evict me if i don't pay the rental by tonight 2/09/2013. The electricy bill also needs to be settled and his threatning to have the electricity cut. He hasn't paid his rates since i'm living there and i have paid it up to date thus far. He has thumb sucked an amount and has reduced the rental for August.
What can i do because he said he consulted his lawyer already.
#87 NONI | October 17, 2013
I currently live in a flat where the rental agents made me sign a lease till the end of the year(December 2013)with full knowledge that I would be extending the lease into the new year(they claimed they have to do new leases in January for all tenants).The flat was sold a month after coming in and the agents for the new tenant are making me re-apply to lease the apartment and are asking for new contract fee's, deposit etc. Do I have to pay the new fee's?
#88 ZAYDIEN | May 01, 2014
i have rented property for about 11 months, the landlord agreed that we sign a month to month lease, i only made us sign the first month, thereafter, it was all talk and no action, there were a few problems with the property that i brought to his attention and nothing was done, when i moved out, i asked him about the deposit, he said that it was a none refundable deposit, he could not produce any proof of that, now he was to only pay me half my deposit back, Please advise
Login or Register to submit a comment!
In order to promote open and spam-free conversations, Global Property Guide moderates commetns on all articles. You can expect that your comment will be published within 24 hours.
Fortnightly updates from the global property arena directly to your inbox.
Connect to professional advice in South Africa
Which parts of the world are most attractive for property investment today?