Agreements between landlords and tenants
In the current economic climate, many people rent, rather than own, the property they reside in. However, a bad tenant or nightmare landlord can create severe problems for the other party. To avoid misery for either party down the road, a clear agreement fair to both parties should be put in place, with the tenant undertaking to keep the property in good condition and paying rent on time, and the landlord undertaking to maintain the property.
As a landlord, your rights are simple – to receive your rent on time, and for your property to be well-looked after. Your responsibilities are more complex.
Your obligations as a landlord
You must provide your tenant with an invoice for their rent, breaking down costs clearly.
You may not increase rent during the period of the lease agreement.
You must follow the proper processes and procedures to evict a tenant.
Your rights as a tenant
You have the right to occupy the property as long as you comply to the lease agreement.
You also have the right to be consulted on anything to do with the property that affects you. For example, the landlord cannot decide to retile the entire home without notifying you first.
According to the Consumer Protection Act, you can cancel the least at any time, providing 20 business days’ notice is given, and you pay a cancellation fee, which usually equates to three months’ rent.
If your landlord sells the property before the end of your lease agreement, you still have the right to live there until the agreement expires, regardless of the new owner.
Your obligations as a tenant
You are required to attend an inspection with the landlord before moving into and before moving out of the property. You must take good care of the property, and return it in the same condition as it was when you first occupied it.
After paying the deposit, you must pay monthly rent in full on the agreed date, unless another arrangement has been made.
It’s important to remember that you can only use it under the conditions for which it was let – i.e., if it was let as a residential property, you cannot run a business from it.
To draft a lease agreement, contact our office on 011 347 0300 or firstname.lastname@example.org make an appointment with one of our labour law specialists.