Rental Housing Act, 1999 (Act No. 50 of 1999)

Discrimination:
In advertising, negotiating or during a lease, a Landlord may not discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant (or members of the household) based on race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, ethic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language or birth.

Tenant's Rights:
  • Privacy – Landlord may only inspect the premises after reasonable notice to the tenant.
  • Landlord may not; search tenant's person, property or home, sieze the tenant's possessions – except in terms of law via a Court Order
  • Infringe the privacy of the tenant's communications.


Landlord's Rights:

  • Prompt and regular payment of rental and other payments as per the lease by the tenant.
  • Recover unpaid rental or other that is due and payable after obtaining a ruling from the Tribunal or Court Order.
  • Can terminate the lease on grounds that do not constitute an unfair practise.
  • On termination of a lease; receive the property back in good state of repair (save for fair wear and tear), repossess the property after first obtaining a Court Order, claim compensation for damage to the property if caused by the tenant, a member of his household or visitor.


Inspections:

The Landlord and Tenant must jointly inspect the premises, before the Tenant moves in, to ascertain the existence or not of any defects or damage and to determine the Landlord's responsibility to rectify or with a view to register them. This list of defects must be attached to the lease as an annexure.

At the end of the lease, the Landlord and the Tenant must arrange a joint inspection at a mutually convenient time, within 3 days prior to the expiration of the lease, with the view to determining what damage was caused during the Tenant's occupation. Should the Tenant fail to respond to the Landlord's request for an inspection, the Landlord must inspect the premises within 7 days after the expiration, in order to assess any damage or loss.

Deposits:

  • To be invested by the Landlord in an interest bearing account with a financial institution, unless via a registered Estate Agent, then the Estate Agency Affairs Act applies.
  • The Landlord can use the deposit plus interest towards the payment of all amounts for which the tenant is liable under the lease.
  • Balance of the deposit to be refunded to the Tenant not later than 14 days after restoration of the dwelling to the Landlord.
  • If nothing owing by the Tenant to the Landlord, then deposit plus interest to be refunded within 7 days after expiry of lease.

For the full Act click here
View article on amendments to the Rental Housing Bill