Section 4A of the Rental Housing Amendment Act– Rights and Obligations of Tenants

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The Rental Housing Amendment Act 35 of 2014 was enacted on 5 November 2015. Section 4A comprises a brand-new section incorporated into the Rental Housing Act, dealing with the rights and responsibilities of tenants. Both lessors and lessees should be aware of the tenant’s rights and responsibilities in terms of this Act, and ensure that they comply with the provisions.

Here is the new section 4A:

  • A tenant has the right to receive a written receipt from the landlord for all payments received by the landlord from the tenant, which receipt must:
    • be dated;
    • clearly indicate the address, including the street number and further description, if necessary, of the dwelling in respect of which payment is made;
    • indicate whether payment has been made for rental, arrears, deposit or otherwise; and
    • specify the period for which payment is made.
  • A tenant may request the landlord during the period of the lease to provide him or her with written proof in respect of interest accrued on the deposit paid.
  • Subject to section 4B(3) of the Act, a tenant has the right to receive payment of the deposit plus any interest accrued to such deposit, without any deduction or set-off, within seven days of expiration of the lease.
  • The tenant must, on request by the landlord, make himself or herself available to conduct a joint inspection of the dwelling at a time convenient for the landlord and tenant, with a view to ascertaining if there is any damage caused to the dwelling during the tenant’s occupation.
  • A tenant has the right, during the lease period, to privacy, and should the landlord wish to exercise his or her right of inspection, the inspection must be done in a reasonable manner after reasonable notice to the tenant.
  • The tenant’s rights as against the landlord include his or her right not to have:
    • his or her person or dwelling searched;
    • his or her possessions searched and seized, except in terms of a law of general application and having first obtained a ruling by a Tribunal or an order of court; or
    • the privacy of his or her communications infringed.
    • And these rights apply equally to members of the tenant’s household and to the tenant’s visitors.
  • A tenant is liable for rental and other costs agreed upon in the lease upon the due date. For costs other than those quantified in the lease, the tenant is only liable upon proof of factual expenditure by the landlord.
  • A tenant may not sublet a dwelling without the consent of the landlord, which consent may not be unreasonably withheld.

Are you looking for a Property Rental Agreement? Feel free to browse the various South African Lease Agreement templates available here on Agreements Online!

Please note that this information is supplied for general information and does not constitute legal advice. It is advisable for you to contact a legal practitioner for guidance in respect of your unique requirements.

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