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Can my landlord just change her mind on the agreed guests’ policy?

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Hi, I signed a fixed-term lease for a year that said I am allowed two guests per week to stay over. Before I moved in the landlord emailed me to say that the guest policy has been changed and no guests are allowed.

I did not accept this new rule in writing or verbally, and had a Skype call with her to say that I do not agree. The lease was not amended and the owner just mailed to say she had changed her mind about the visitor policy.

She then offered me premature termination, which I accepted.

She then said I am liable for December’s rent, any water fines, and utilities.

I am now trying to get out of this contract with her. But she is making it very hard and she is telling me to find a new tenant and she is not giving me my deposit back.

Here is the guest policy and the non-variation clause:guest policy

non variation clause

I hope you can help; most importantly I hope this helps someone else in my position too. – Jacqueline


Hi Jacqueline, if there is a non-variation clause in the lease agreement, the tenant can place the landlord on terms to comply with the provisions of the lease, thus allowing visitors. Failing which you can cancel based on that, without penalty, and even a potential damages claim against the landlord.

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

Cilna Steyn, MD at SSLR Inc.

Cilna Steyn, MD at SSLR Inc.

Answered by Cilna Steyn, attorney and director of SSLR Inc


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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