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Here are the new rental and property rules proposed for South Africa

Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has published the draft Rental Housing Regulations for public comment, proposing changes for both owner’s and tenant’s properties in South Africa.

The 142-page document covers a wide range of issues including lease agreements, deposits, rent increases and damages to property.

The regulations also outline the rights and obligations of both tenants and lessors, with a full mediation and tribunal process outlined should a disagreement arise between the two parties.

Some of the notable proposals are outlined in more detail below.

Deposits

  • Unless otherwise agreed to between the parties, a landowner shall 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 held is equivalent to one month’s rent, the landowner may require the existing deposit to be “topped up” by an amount equal to the amount by which the rent payable has been increased i.e. one month.
  • If the deposit held is equivalent to two months’ rent, the landowner may require the existing deposit to be “topped up” by an amount equal to the amount by which the rent payable has been increased i.e. two months.
  • If the deposit or a portion thereof has been paid to the landowner, an implied lease will be deemed to have come into existence.

Rent increases 

The rent payable in respect of any tenancy may be increased by the landowner provided all of the following are complied with:

  • The landowner 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 day upon which the increased rent shall become payable; and in the case of a tenancy which is not subject to annual rent adjustment, the rent shall not be increased within 12 months, and thereafter, 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 in excess of the amount specified in the order.

Rights and obligations of tenants

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 landowner, as soon as possible after discovery, of any damage to the premises, or of the need for any repairs.

On the termination of the tenancy, the tenant should:

  • Vacate the premises;
  • Remove all his or her 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;
  • Return to the landowner all keys, and security or pass cards or other 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 use of the tenant.

Article courtesy of BUSINESSTECH