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Can my landlord penalise me for leaving in a month-to-month lease?

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Hi, I am a student and I had a lease with my landlord for the year 2016. I continued to stay for 2017 without a lease renewal. During the course of the year I received a bursary and informed my landlord that I will not be liable for my own rent as the bursary will pay out. After two months my landlord informed me that it had been too long without rental and suggested I pay from my own pocket and she will reimburse me when the bursary has paid out. I informed my landlord that this will be financially overwhelming and I will pay the rent of the months lapsed but will have to move out as she is unable to wait for the bursary payout. She now wants to hold me liable for loss of future rental. Please help. – Lindiwe


Hi Lindiwe, a month-to-month lease does not fall within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act, and can therefore be terminated by either party on a month’s notice. Simple! No penalty can be applied.

Got a burning question? Email mariette@hometimes.co.za and we’ll be sure to assist you

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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Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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