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Does spelling the tenant’s name incorrectly affect the lease agreement?

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Q

Hi, I have a fully signed lease. The landlord’s address was not inserted while the tenant’s name is spelled incorrectly. Amendments were made on the lease; landlord’s address, which is not the same as the lease property, was inserted and the tenant’s name was rectified.

My question is: Must all parties initial these amendments? As far as I know, yes. – Andrea

A

Hi Andrea, if the agreement has a non-variation clause (which most agreements would have), then yes, all parties must initial next to the amendments in order for it to be effective, as the clause would provide that no variation would be of any force or effect unless reduced to writing and signed by both parties.

Having said that, the agreement would probably also have a clause allowing for notification of change of address by either party, and so if a signature cannot be obtained next to the amended address, the landlord could simply send a notice in terms of the agreement confirming the correct address.


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As for the incorrect spelling of the name, if the identity number is correct and there can be no question that it is the same person, the incorrect name (if you cannot get the agreement amended) is unlikely to have any material impact on the agreement. If needs be, a court can always be approached to rectify the spelling error should it ever be necessary to take legal steps in terms of the agreement.

It is, of course, advisable to have everyone initial next to it, but the validity of this lease agreement is unlikely to be impacted should you be unable to obtain these signatures.


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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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