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Don’t panic, the Rental Housing Amendment Act is NOT law yet – TPN Credit Bureau

signing lease agreement

TPN Credit Bureau has said that the Rental Housing Amendment Act of 2014 is not law yet and that there is no indication that it will become law in the near future.

The credit bureau, which is used by thousands of property practitioners and private landlords on a monthly basis to vet potential tenants, issued a statement on Friday last week to better inform its rental agent and private landlord clients who had enquired about statements in the industry that it was time to implement changes to their lease agreements.

Speaking to its MD, Michelle Dickens, she said, “Besides changes such as those to the Rental Housing Tribunals, some important material changes in the Amendment Act are the obligation on the landlord to provide a habitable property (as defined in the Amendment Act) and the protection of the tenant’s deposit in the event of the landlord becoming insolvent.”

Dickens stated further that leases would be required to be in writing and would need to define the actual responsibilities landlords had towards their tenants.

Driving its point, TPN quoted recent case law in which an applicant tried to get a Rental Housing Tribunal judgement rescinded in a High Court – a provision contained in the Rental Housing Amendment Act but not in the current Rental Housing Act. “The case was thrown out on an administrative irregularity, but acting Judge Nel confirmed that the Amendment Act was not in force yet and still had to be commenced,” said Dickens.

“The Amendment Act places more responsibilities on landlords. Why would rental agents want to place more responsibilities on their landlords when they were not required to, yet? Once in force, landlords will have six months to make the necessary changes.”

david.steynberg@gmail.com

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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