Your rights and obligations as a property owner or tenant

Private Property South Africa
Property Power

Find out about the responsibilities that both a property owner and a tenant have, when it comes to renting.

Your rights and obligations as the owner:

  • You have to deliver the property to your tenant in a condition fit to live in.

  • Your tenant must have undisturbed use of your property. You are entitled to inspect the property as long as you let the tenant know in advance of when you would like to come around.

  • You are allowed to restrict the number of persons who may reside on your property, although you may not restrict the number of your tenant's visitors.

  • You have a duty to maintain the property and repair any items proved not to have been broken by your tenant.

  • When you sell the property to a third party, you may not terminate the lease agreement. You can however, give your tenant first option to purchase the property if you decide to sell.

  • You cannot illegally evict a tenant, even if he defaults in terms of the lease agreement. Consult a lawyer immediately to take the necessary steps in legally evicting him.

Your tenant's rights and obligations:

  • He has to pay the rent at a frequency (i.e. monthly, etc.) agreed to by both parties in the lease agreement.

  • He may only use the property for the purpose for which it was let.

  • Your tenant is liable for any damages caused during his stay.

  • The water and electricity account, swimming-pool condition, light bulbs and maintenance of the garden are the tenant's obligation.

  • If you want to sell the property, your tenant must allow you to put up for sale signs and allow prospective buyers to view the property at a time convenient for all parties.

  • Your tenant must deliver the property to you on termination of the lease, in the condition he took occupation.

This article originally appeared in Property Power 11th Edition Magazine. To order your copy at the discounted price of R120 click here.

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