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[WATCH] Early lease termination: Are tenants liable for agent’s commission?

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Hi, I am about to sign a lease agreement for a residential property. One of the clauses, however, does not sit well with me. I would like to know if the clause is CPA-compliant. It reads as follows:

“The Landlord agrees to pay the Estate Agent commission as detailed below: 


I do not understand why the tenant would be liable to reimburse the landlord for the commission paid, as it is my understanding that early cancellation does not constitute a breach in terms of CPA as long as 20 business days’ notice is provided; in which case the landlord may claim a reasonable penalty fee. Dealing with an estate agent is complicating matters, and, as a result, the penalty for early termination as per the above does not seem reasonable to me. The agent is putting pressure on me to sign the lease today, and insists that the aforementioned clause has nothing to do with CPA.

Is this in compliance with CPA, or will CPA overrule this clause? – Trish

Got a burning 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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