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Can I share tenant details with the landlord before the lease is signed?

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Q

In line with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI), may I provide information I receive from a prospective tenant (not signed up yet) to the owner of the property at this stage already? The owner asked me to send it through to her before we sign the person up on the lease agreement.

A

In terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, an operator (such as a letting agent) processing personal information on behalf of a responsible party (the landlord), may only process the information with the knowledge or authorisation of a landlord, and must treat personal information as confidential and must not disclose it, unless required by law or in the course of the proper course of their duties.

Since you are acting on the landlord’s behalf, and disclosing the information to the landlord is necessary to execute your duties under the mandate, you would not be breaching POPI to hand over personal information regarding a tenant to the landlord, which would include the tenant’s credit report or affordability assessment.


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Who is Marlon Shevelew?

Marlon Shevelew, director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates.

Marlon Shevelew, director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates.

Marlon Shevelew is the director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates Inc. a law firm specialising in rental property, contractual, consumer and company law. The firm is the recipient of more than 45 international property law awards. Marlon is current author of PayProp’s rental documentation and preferred rental property attorney to the Institute of Estate Agents South Africa (IEASA), the Rental Housing Tribunal Western Cape and presenter of the Advanced Residential Property Law Seminar endorsed by the University of Cape Town. Marlon has featured on Cape Talk 567 and Property Matters on DStv, contributes as a guest expert to several property publications and was invited by Juta to write a book on rental property law, by LexisNexis Butterworths to edit its forms and precedents on rental property law and, on no less than three occasions, was invited by the Law Society of South Africa to lecture and train candidate attorneys and attorneys on rental property law. Marlon also created the unique Rental Retainer ClubRentDoc  and LevyDoc which offers clients affordable legal fees for rental property and sectional title related matters. Marlon is contactable on marlon@marlonshevelew.co.za anytime for more information on these services.

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