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Landlords, make lease changes in this window

Does the landlord need to advise the tenant that the lease agreement is coming to an end? According to Willem le Roux of Le Roux Attorneys Inc, specialists in eviction law, landlords are obliged to notify their tenant of the upcoming expiration of the lease agreement.

“This obligation will arise not more than 80 but not less than 40 business days before the expiry date of the fixed-term agreement,” he says.

According to Marlon Shevelew, director at Marlon Shevelew and Associates, specialists in rental law, as well as head of the Rental Retainer Club, it’s important to note that this obligation only arises if the lease is 12 months or less. “This letter won’t be required if the lease is 24 months as a letter which purports to extend the lease longer than 24 months falls foul of the CPA section 14(4)(a) read with regulation 5(1),” he says.

A landlord must notify the tenant of the following in writing:

  • The impending expiry date
  • Any material change that would apply if the agreement is renewed or otherwise continued beyond the expiry date. 
  • That the agreement will be automatically continued on a month-to-month basis unless the consumer expressly directs the supplier to terminate the agreement on the expiry date or agrees to a renewal of the agreement for a further fixed term. Shevelew makes the point though that the CPA is silent as to when a tenant is required to reply to this. “In order to ensure there is agreement, especially if the landlord wants to renew the lease, the landlord should insert a clause calling upon the tenant to respond by a certain time to such notice,” he says.

Can you enter into a four-year lease agreement?

Regulation 5 of the Consumer Protection Act states that the maximum period of a lease agreement is 24 months from the date of signature by the tenant unless the tenant expressly agrees to a longer period and the landlord can show a demonstrable financial benefit to the consumer for concluding an agreement in excess of the 24-month threshold.

“The CPA does not, however, define what a demonstrable financial benefit is,” says Shevelew. “So be sure to include a clause defining what the tenant is receiving as a benefit to justify a lease in excess of 24 months.”


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