Whether you’re looking to enter to rentals market, are already a tenant, or are a landlord, knowing your (and your tenants’) rights is essential to avoid or mitigate a potentially sticky situation.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about South African tenancy rights to keep you informed:
- When does a tenant’s right to occupy a home end? A tenant has the right to occupy their home for as long as they are complying with their signed lease agreement.
- What rights does a tenant have to cancel a lease? In this situation, both the landlord and the tenant have the right to give notice at any stage, to cancel a lease agreement. According to the Housing Act 1999, either party must give a minimum of 1 months’ notice. Additional rights have been given to tenants (by the CPA) whereby they can cancel a lease with only 20 days’ notice, however if this right is exercised, they may be subject to pay a ‘reasonable cancellation fee’ of up to 3 months’ rent for any trouble their short notice lease cancellation may have caused the landlord.
- Can a landlord do things to the property without notifying the tenant? A tenant has the right to be informed of any changes to the property that may affect them.
- If the landlord is selling the property, does the tenant have the right to remain? Yes, a tenant has the right to stay on the property until their lease expires whether there is a change in property ownership or not.
- Does the tenant have to use the property in a certain way? Yes, the tenant can only use the property for the purpose specified on the lease agreement.
- Can a tenant sublet the property? A tenant can only sublet the property with permission from the landlord.
- Can a tenant alter the property? A tenant can only make alterations to the property with consent from the landlord.