FAQ about SA Tenancy Rights

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Can a tenant sublet the property? A tenant can only sublet the property with permission from the landlord.
  7. Can a tenant alter the property? A tenant can only make alterations to the property with consent from the landlord.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to find your perfect property or tenant! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android).

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