A list of frequently asked questions about Residential Rentals. Have a question not answered below? Click here to contact us.

Who can help me if I have problems with my tenant?

Contact Rental Housing Tribunal. Contact centre: 0860 106 166. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Web page: www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/rental-housing-tribunal.

What can I do if the tenant has damaged the property?

If you asked for a deposit, you can use the money to repair damages attributed to the tenant beyond normal wear and tear when the tenant moves out. Contact the Rental Housing Tribunal if you have problems at 0860 106 166 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What can I do if my tenant has not paid the rent on time?

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.

Should I ask for a deposit?

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.

Should a Lease be written?

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.

How do I evict my tenant?

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.

Can I increase the rent in the middle of a lease period?

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).

Can I enter the property without my tenants permission?

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.

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