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Amendment to the Rental Housing Act

We are all awaiting some amendments to the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999 .

The amendments document (over 40 pages of it), was published and awaiting comments from relevant industry players until the 18th of April. There are parts of it, which drew my attention, and some interesting things, as I find time I will blog about these.

Right now a very small thing actually drew my attention because of the process that is followed right now by landlords in relation to tenant problems.

Understand Residential Lease Agreements

Most landlords that have a problem with a tenant that they don’t manage to resolve by themselves, go to an attorney to solve the problem. Then if the problem persists (in other words a letter from the attorney is not enough to get the tenant to comply and resolve the issue), the attorney will probably bring the issue to the courts. Nothing wrong with that, though the Rental Housing Tribunal could actually do the job for free… there something is about to change, which all landlords should know.

In the amendment clause 11 para. 4 it says that if a landlord or tenant (which ever of the two), initiate action with a magistrate’s court then, the tenant or landlord can’t go and lodge a complaint with the Rental Housing Tribunal, unless the Magistrates court refers the issue to the Tribunal.

This is very interesting and landlords together with tenants should remember this amendments if it passes, because this means that in affect one shouldn’t run to the courts as it may take longer plus it will have the negative effect of not being able to go to the Rental Housing Tribunal, which is not only free of charge but also has a set deadline to resolve matters. Meaning resolution can be achieved quicker than in a court of law that is full of matters to deal with other than rental issues.

This means that by taking action in a magistrate court in the future it will result in the inability to use the Rental Housing Tribunal, which could be cheaper and faster. Therefore I think that both landlords and tenants should try first the cheaper and faster option of resolution via Rental Housing Tribunal.

So, for the future, keep this in mind, before you turn to the courts or your attorney runs to the courts in your place.

There are many other things, which I would love to comments about, and I will as time allows writing. So, keep an eye on this blog if you are interested in this subject .

At the end of everything said and done the Rental Housing Act should be the most important thing to understand if you are letting residential property to private people. 

Residential Lease Agreement

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Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.

 
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