A list of frequently asked questions about Residential Rentals. Have a question not answered below? Click here to contact us.
Report your suspicions to South African Police Services (Crime Stop Tip-off line: 0860 010 111). It is also a good idea to add a clause to your lease stating that no illegal activities are to be conducted on the property, which would give you grounds to cancel the lease immediately
It depends on what your lease says. Usually, a landlord maintains the outside of the property and a tenant the inside.
Check if the tenant's behaviour is in violation of the House Rules. If so, you may be able to invoke your lease's cancellation clause and give your tenant notice.
Technically, your tenant is in breach of contract. Refer to the breach clause of your contract (or, in the case of a verbal agreement, the agreed on terms for termination) and act on it. If you don't have a cancellation agreement, it is good practice to write a letter giving your tenant seven days to pay, failing which you will cancel the lease.
It is your tenant's responsibility to make sure that you receive the rent, so your tenant will have to show you proof of payment (for example, a bank-deposit slip). If your tenant can't do so, you can give your tenant notice in terms of your agreement and seek a court order for eviction.
Yes, it's a good idea to put it in the lease. Remember that the deposit must be put in an interest-bearing account for the duration of the lease and given back to your tenant, plus the interest it has earned, when the tenant moves out. If, however, your tenant still owes you money on moving out, or if the property has been damaged beyond normal wear and tear, you can use the deposit to pay for repairs or to cover the money owed to you.
A verbal agreement is as binding as a written lease, but if your tenant insists on having something in writing, you must comply. It is, however, better for both of you to have your agreement in writing to set out the terms and conditions agreed upon. This may prevent later disputes.
Refer to the term in the expired lease regarding the notice period, bearing in mind that if the lease has already expired another lease for the same period has automatically begun.
You can never evict a tenant yourself. You can only seek a court order to evict a tenant if your tenant is in breach of contract.
Check personal references and you can do an ITC credit check (call TransUnion ITC on 0861 482 482 or visit www.mytransunion.co.za) and follow up all credit and trade references.
You will have to obtain a court order first. The Sheriff of the Court will then attach your tenant's property to the amount of the money due to you. If you take your tenant's possessions without a court order, it's theft.
Not unless your lease agreement specifically says you can. If you want, you can add a clause to the initial agreement listing specific reasons that would allow you to increase the rent (for example, if the rates increase).
You have a right to enter the property to perform routine inspections and so on, but only after arranging with your tenant to do so at a reasonable time, and with reasonable notice. Your tenant does not have the right to deny you reasonable access.
No. That would be an illegal eviction. If you change the locks, you have to give spare keys to the tenant.
It depends on what it says in your contract. If your contract doesn't specify a reasonable escalation, you will have to negotiate an acceptable rent with the tenant.