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[WATCH] Can I withhold my rent to force my landlord to fix the plumbing?



I have a quick question and I hope I could get the information before we decide what to do next.

We have been renting a house for the past three months.

When we entered the landlord said that there were no issues.

We surprisingly found that there is a major sewerage smell issue in the main bathroom; we understood later on that this issue was known by the landlord for years and he didn’t fix it.

We asked the landlord to fix the issue, and he sent few plumbers to try and fix it. The plumbers, however, never arrived at the times they said they would, and the issue has been delayed for three months with no resolution.

The landlord blames us that we didn’t let the plumber in when they arrived; this is a lie. Whenever we spoke with the plumber we were waiting for him to come and fix.

To make a long story short, can we hold the rent or reduce it until they fix the issue?

I read that the

“Landlord has to uphold

  1. He has to hand over the premises to you in a reasonable condition and in a good state of repair;

  2. he has to ensure that you have “undisturbed use and enjoyment” of the premises and that the electricity, plumbing, ventilation, doors, windows, air-conditioning, and any appliances on the premises are kept in good working order; and

  3. he has to maintain the property at all times. Some tenants will agree to take on certain responsibilities, such as mowing the lawn or cleaning the pool, but ensure this is in the maintenance clause of the rental agreement.” – Lior


Got a question? Email david@hometimes.co.za


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David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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