Rentals Helpline

We get many phone calls from agents and landlords with rental queries so we started the rental help line.  Please send us your queries and we will attempt to answer them.

How is the Trust account is to be conducted?

QUERY: Can Vivian perhaps please explain to me exactly how the Trust account is to be conducted? It is my understanding that only deposits are to be held in this account and no other banking transactions are to be conducted on this account.

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Liable for the outstanding rent

QUERY: We have been renting a house now for almost a year, and my lease expires at the end of October. In the interim, the house has been attempted to be broken into, and my car has been broken into twice.

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Old lease or CPA law?

QUERY: I have an owner that insists on using her own lease agreements, although they are not according to the CPA. Tenants signed her lease agreement after 1 April 2011 and the expiry date was supposed to be 30 November 2012. They gave 2 months' notice and moved out on 30 July 2012. The lease does not make provision for early cancellation nor mention a penalty payable if cancelled early.

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Can the tenant have their deposit back?

QUERY: I placed a tenant in a complex 2 months ago. Mother father and daughter from Dbn rental R6,200-  2 bed 1 bath garden Lonehill Gauteng. The tenant wishes to leave the complex as the other residents/ tenant play loud music and are noisy.

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Rent Increase, Water & Sewage Accounts

QUERY: I know we as rental agents are allowed to increase the rent by the amount of levy increase during the term of the lease agreement, if owners request this. Can you please give me an official reference to this as tenants are querying it.

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CPA applicable to Residential Rentals?

QUERY: Hi Vivienne and Debbie, Do I understand it correctly that with the CPA coming into being on 1 April 2011, that the 20 business day notice from tenants and landlords to each other, has not been included under residential rentals? Kind Regards, Marlene

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Deposit Deductions?

QUERY: Hi Vivien, I saw your piece in the Tyger Burger on Agents turning to rentals. (I have purchased a property... waiting on registration, this I will rent out preferable through an agent. But below is the info i request if you could possible help me.) I am not an agent but the following caught my eye “ ... very often when a tenant has vacated a property... Without jointly recording ingoing and outgoing inspections there is no basis for deducting from a deposit in terms of the Rental Housing Act.

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Would an Agent be regarded as a debt collector

QUERY: Dear Vivien, I came across an article from August 2010 on Rent News from the Centre. It states that any penalties charged for late payment or non payment of rental can only be charged if the agency is a registered debt collector/ Would an Agent be regarded a a debt collector in terms of receiving regular rentals? I look forward to your comment/s. Kind regards, Noni

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Deposit "Top Up"

QUERY: Dear Debbie, When we did the yearly increase in rent in the past, we never increased the deposit. We are aware that there are Managing agents who do this and include it in the addendum. We have informed some of our tenants of the ‘top up’ of their deposit. Some understand, but some are very difficult.

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Lease Cancelation and the Consumer Protection Act

QUERY: Dear Debbie, Please tell me if I understand this correctly… A tenant may give 20 business days notice to cancel the lease agreement, but he stays responsible for the rent until a new lease is signed, and a penalty clause may be implemented (waiting for instruction). Initially after the rental day, we thought a tenant may give 20 business days notice, without staying responsible for the rent until a new tenant has been found, but a reasonable penalty clause can apply.

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Are Normal Leases Excluded from the Act?

Query: I have been to a CPA seminar and the normal leases are excluded form the act...(if it is not in the normal course of business of the landlord) This would then only apply for legal entities with assest value over R2mil and selective leases in normal course of business of the landlord.Please advise whether your interpretastion is different.

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Cancellation Of Contract

QUERY: I have the following crisis that I need your expertise assistance with. Commencement of contract 1 December 2010 for 3 months and renewable by tenants for each three months. Myself and landlord went to do inspection to house and noted defects list to be done at the property.

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Rental Property Goes On Sale

QUERY: Hope you can help. I've got a property which is to rent. The owner would also like to sell the property. The new tenants are aware of the situation and are still prepared to sign 1 year contract.

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Cost of damage dispute

QUERY: There is a dispute on the value of damage caused by the tenant. The tenant has offered R1000 the owner wants R1500. The owner is insisting I take off R1500 [from the deposit], pay her and pay balance to tenant.

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Rental Agent Keeps Claiming Commission

QUERY: I have been most encouraged to find your website after much scanning of the internet to try and find an answer to my question. I also notice that you held a training course in Pinelands today that would probably have been beneficial for my husband and I to attend - Residential Rental Course. When is your next one in Cape Town? 

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Student Problems

QUERY: We at Just Letting in Stellenbosch have our hands full this time of year with literally hundreds of students vacating their flats / student houses on the 30th of November. We have been at this cycle for 8 years now, but inevitably something always comes up to rattle us down to our shoes every year. 

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Deposit Transfer

QUERY: Could you please advise us on the following: We have a situation where we took over the rental management of a property from a rental company, keeping the same tenant. The tenant paid his deposit at the start of his lease, to this rental company, and we have battled ever since to get the deposit paid over to us.

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Body Corporate Rules

QUERY: We would like to know whether a managing agent / body corporate can be allowed to charge a lessee a penalty of R1 000 for dust and rubbish left in a passage-way. In this same matter the body corporate is charging the lessee R1 000 per day for late payment on a previous fine. The body corporate does however stipulate this amounts in their house rules.

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Interviews Of Prospective Tenants By Corporate Body Trustees

QUERY: Hi Vivien, Hope you are good and well, not sure if you will remember me, but we thoroughly enjoyed your training and is still enjoying the emails we get on a regular basis. What i wanted to just clear with you is the following. I am sure you told us when we discussed discrimination etc that body corporates are not really permitted to give interviews in order to approve the clients we are signing up for a specific property.

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Landlord's Son Wants To Manage The Property

QUERY: Dear Vivien, I have a mandate with a Landlord till end August for a house comprising 2 sections. Landlord told me that he will be renovating the premises September and that current tenants has to move out while he is renovating. He asked me for tenants telephone numbers as he wanted to "discuss the renovations with them." 

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Contact us

Head Office

P O Box 38030, Pinelands,7430

t: 084 516 7334


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