Here’s what unfair practices are dealt with by the Rental Housing Tribunal
The Rental Housing Tribunal (RHT) is an independent body appointed in terms of the Rental Housing Act. Its main purpose is to be a middleman in resolving disputes between landlords, tenants and rental agents with regards to residential dwellings. These disputes often relate to unfair practices. The RHT is not a court but has a judicial function, its decisions are called rulings and has the same effect as a Magistrates’ court order having jurisdiction over all tenant, landlord and agent matters. There are no costs involved for either the complainant or respondent to lodge a complaint with the RHT. However, to have the order enforced, certain disbursements such as Sheriff’s costs will be applicable, making it the most cost effective remedy in resolving disputes in the tenant-landlord relationship.
- Determining fair rentals
- Unacceptable living conditions
- Rights and duties of landlords and tenants
- Rental being in arrears
- Unlawful search and seizure of the tenants’ property
- Discrimination by a landlord
- Tenants’ bad behaviour
- Damage to property
- Disputes between tenant, landlord and/or agent
How is a complaint lodged?
- Lease agreement
- Proof of payment of the rental
- Physical address of both tenant and landlord
- Contact numbers of both the parties
After the complaint is lodged, a preliminary investigation will be done in order for the Tribunal to determine whether the complaint indeed relates to a dispute which may constitute an unfair practice. Mediation is scheduled in an attempt to resolve the matter. If unsuccessful, arbitration by the Tribunal will follow, giving a ruling on the matter which is binding on both parties. Review is possible if either of the parties feels dissatisfied with the outcome of the ruling and they may take the matter before the High Court within its jurisdictional area.
This article is reproduced here with the kind permission of MC van der Berg Inc