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Here’s what unfair practices are dealt with by the Rental Housing Tribunal

fight lanflord and tenant RESIZE

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.

The matters the Tribunal deals with Voetstoots resize

  • 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
  • Overcrowding
  • Discrimination by a landlord
  • Tenants’ bad behaviour
  • Damage to property
  • Disputes between tenant, landlord and/or agent

How is a complaint lodged?

  • In person at the RHT officesrental housing tribunal numbers
  • Via fax or
  • Any other means allowed by the Tribunal e.g. e-mail

Required documentation from the aggrieved party when lodging a complaintsigning lease agreement

  • ID/Permit/Passport
  • 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


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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