En­sure the lease cov­ers all as­pects

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

GET IT COV­ERED Whether you’re a land­lord or a ten­ant, you should have a writ­ten lease, and make sure it con­tains cer­tain es­sen­tial clauses. That’s the ad­vice of Ren­tal­sDotCom, the rental prop­erty man­age­ment di­vi­sion of Har­courts Africa, which says that al­though a ver­bal lease is le­gal, it is prefer­able to have a writ­ten agree­ment to avoid any dis­putes.

CEO Martin Schultheiss says the lease should con­tain cer­tain clauses, in­clud­ing:

Iden­ti­fy­ing and de­scrib­ing the prop­erty that is be­ing let, and stat­ing how many peo­ple may live there; Iden­ti­fy­ing the land­lord and the ten­ant; Stat­ing the pe­riod of the lease and if and when it can be re­newed;

Stat­ing the amount of rent payable and how and when it should be paid;

De­tail­ing any other charges payable, such as mu­nic­i­pal charges for wa­ter and power;

Out­lin­ing the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the land­lord, such as main­tain­ing the prop­erty;

Out­lin­ing the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the ten­ant, such as do­ing no dam­age and us­ing it only for its proper pur­pose; and

Stat­ing what the process and con­se­quences will be if ei­ther party breaches the agree­ment, for ex­am­ple late pay­ment by the ten­ant or non-up­keep by the land­lord.

“And prob­a­bly most im­por­tantly, there must be a clause stat­ing what de­posit is payable by the ten­ant, where it will be kept and in what cir­cum­stances it will be or won’t be paid back,” says Schultheiss. He also cau­tions that no-one should ever sign a lease with­out un­der­stand­ing its con­tents.

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