A written residential lease agreement is important and the law will soon require it. A well-drafted lease will ensure a good relationship between the landlord and tenant and avoid disputes. But we’re sure you already know this. Most landlords and tenant have had a bad experience with a failed relationship.
What laws apply to your Residential Lease Agreement?
The renting of residential property (including freehold, sectional title and share block) is not only governed by the common law but by various laws. In addition to the common law, the Rental Housing Act (RHA) governs the relationship between the residential landlord and tenant. The act doesn’t only contain the duties and obligations of the parties but, also establishes the Rental Housing Tribunal. The Tribunal has become one of the most successful bodies for settling disputes between residential landlords and tenants.
The Consumer Protection Act applies to some leases but not all of them. If the CPA applies to a lease agreement, the tenant has additional rights. So, it is important that you know whether the CPA applies to your lease or not.
If you are a landlord, you need a good lease agreement template. Your tenants have many rights both in terms of the common law and statutes governing the relationship between you. Your lease agreement must comply with these laws. For example, you cannot contract out of the deemed provisions of the Rental Housing Act. Even if you have not included the term in the agreement, it will still apply to your relationship with your tenant. The new Rental Housing Amendment Act criminalises unfair behaviour of landlords. The act creates various offences and you as a landlord must be aware of what it requires.
A bad lease agreement will make it hard for you to evict a tenant or collect outstanding rent.
What we offer
Are you a tenant of a residential property in need of a lease agreement? We have a simple standard residential lease agreement template at R172.37 (incl VAT) suitable for where the Consumer Protection Act does not apply. This template is perfect for individuals who are renting garden flats, flats or houses from landlords who are not in the business of renting property (and therefore not a supplier in terms of the CPA).
What you get
The template is made up of:
- an Offer to Lease (five pages in editable format) that contains the commercial terms (like the rent and the duration); and
- Lease terms (nine pages in pdf format) that contains the general terms (like breach, termination, and governing law).
If you purchase the template, you do so on an as is basis. We charge separately for any changes you ask us to make or any advice about the template.
Disputes with your landlord
If you and your landlord are involved in a dispute about the leasing of residential property, one of the remedies you have is to approach your provincial Rental Housing Tribunal (Western Cape, Gauteng, Durban). The Tribunal was created by the Rental Housing Act and their main function is to settle disputes between the landlord and the tenant. The service is free of charge and saves you, the tenant, and the cost of legal fees for seeking advice from a lawyer. The Tribunal was created for this purpose and should be your first point of call.