The Rental Housing Tribunal

The Rental Housing Tribunal

Private Property South Africa
Cathy Nolan

It is important to note that although the Rental Housing Tribunal has helped thousands

of landlords and tenants resolve issues pertaining to rental properties, the service is not

available throughout South Africa and at this stage, there are no tribunal offices in Free


Another point worth noting is that while one may assume that the same legislation applies

to all, the various provinces do have different regulations. In other words, while it may be

law in some provinces to give a tenant two months’ notice of a proposed rent increase, it

doesn’t automatically mean that this is applicable across the entire country.

The easiest way to ascertain whether or not you have the right to lodge a grievance against

a landlord or tenant is to contact your local branch of the Rental Housing Tribunal directly.

At this stage it is a relatively simple process and once contacted, the Tribunal will email or

fax the necessary documentation directly to the complainant for completion.

Plans are also being mooted for a system whereby parties can lodge a complaint online.

The services of all Rental Housing Tribunals are free.

If the matter proceeds to arbitration, the ruling has the same power as does a magistrate’s

court ruling.

Those who want legal representation are fully entitled to retain a lawyer, providing that

they pay for that service themselves. The Tribunal has a maximum of 90 days to resolve a


Any landlord or tenant may lodge a complaint with the Tribunal against unfair practice.

Practices deemed to be unfair include:

The changing of locks

Not refunding deposits

Damage to property

Demolitions and conversions


Forced entry and obstruction of entry


Overcrowding and health matters

Tenant activities


The Tribunal doesn’t only protect landlords and tenants in formal dwellings and its powers

extend to those who live in or lease out, hostel rooms, huts, shacks, outbuildings or similar

structures as well as storerooms, garages or demarcated parking spaces that form part of

the lease agreement. The Rental Housing Tribunal does however not deal with commercial


Looking for a new tenant?

Advertise your property to rent FOR FREE quickly and easily on our website.

Find out more


Found this content useful?

Get the best of Private Property's latest news and advice delivered straight to your inbox each week

Related Articles

How to handle a rental dispute
Find out how the Rental Housing Tribunal works, and how it can help you.
Evictions - acting illegally can backfire
A developer's plans to build up-market houses on a 6000m2 piece of land in Fairlands in Johannesburg has backfired, thanks to a High Court judgement which has found that the elderly couple who have lived in a house on the ...
How to lawfully evict a non-paying tenant
Just as tough economic times have had their impact on the housing market and those looking to own property, it has also affected many tenants and landlords within the residential rental market.