As­sist­ing land­lords and ten­ants

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Al­bert Pule

The renTAl Hous­ing Tri­bunal helps land­lords and ten­ants solve dis­putes.

rent­ing out a prop­erty, such as a back­room, flat or cot­tage can bring in ex­tra in­come, but deal­ing with rowdy ten­ants can be a has­sle and could cause frus­tra­tion.

For prob­lems be­tween land­lords and ten­ants, one of the first ports of call is the Rental Hous­ing Tri­bunal.

The Rental Hous­ing Tri­bunal is a gov­ern­ment en­tity that falls un­der the pro­vin­cial de­part­ments of hu­man set­tle­ments or hous­ing.

The tri­bunal, a ded­i­cated body that can re­solve dis­putes be­tween ten­ants and land­lords, is an al­ter­na­tive to costly court ac­tion.

Like many tri­bunals, the Rental Hous­ing Tri­bunal has cer­tain pow­ers and its rul­ing is the same as that of a mag­is­trate.

The tri­bunal has the power to sum­mon a land­lord or ten­ant to a hear­ing or me­di­a­tion, can or­der a land­lord or ten­ant to com­ply with any part of the Rental Hous­ing Act and can im­pose a fine or im­pris­on­ment on both the ten­ant or land­lord.

It must be noted that the tri­bunal’s pow­ers cover is­sues of land­lords and ten­ants of res­i­den­tial build­ings – it does not, for ex­am­ple, cover busi­ness or com­mer­cial prop­er­ties.

The com­plaints can be about things like the non-pay­ment of ren­tals, fail­ure to re­fund a de­posit, in­va­sion of ten­ant’s pri­vacy, un­law­ful seizure of ten­ant’s goods, dis­crim­i­na­tion by a land­lord against a prospec­tive ten­ant, re­ceipt for pay­ment not is­sued, lack of main­te­nance and re­pairs and il­le­gal lock­out or il­le­gal dis­con­nec­tion of ser­vices.

The ser­vices ren­dered by the tri­bunal are free.

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