Good land­lords know that they also have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

LAND­LORDS and man­ag­ing agents have a num­ber of sys­tems for check­ing the track records and fi­nan­cial stand­ing of po­ten­tial ten­ants, but there is no sys­tem ten­ants or agents can use to check a land­lord’s per­for­mance.

And, says Tony Clarke, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Raw­son Prop­erty Group, the prop­erty mar­ket does have its share of bad land­lords with whom the av­er­age ten­ant or agent would not want to be as­so­ci­ated.

“Ten­ants’ re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are of­ten men­tioned, but land­lords have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties too.

“They should be com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that the ac­com­mo­da­tion they of­fer is in good con­di­tion, that equip­ment is in work­ing or­der and that they of­fer a fair deal for the rent they are be­ing paid.

“It is also the land­lords’ duty to lis­ten to their ten­ants’ com­plaints and to main­tain the prop­erty. This means reg­u­larly re­paint­ing and re­car­pet­ing when­ever nec­es­sary as well as on­go­ing re­pair of the elec­tri­cal and plumb­ing in­stal­la­tions.

“Fea­tures such as swim­ming pool pumps and fil­ters, Jacuzzis, tram­po­lines, built-in gas braais, air con­di­tion­ing and au­to­matic gar­den ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tems tend to need more main­te­nance than other fea­tures. But some land­lords be­lieve that, as th­ese are ex­tra fea­tures, they don’t need to at­tend to them reg­u­larly or re­pair them when they break.”

Clarke says that bad land­lords are of­ten ig­no­rant of prop­erty law.

“Such land­lords have a ten­dency to en­ter the rented prop­er­ties with­out no­tice to their ten­ants, and will also of­ten hold onto de­posits il­le­gally.

“To ac­com­plish this they ex­ag­ger­ate the dam­ages and nor­mal wear and tear – which in any case are for their ac­count – and will charge heav-

‘Land­lords must en­sure the ac­com­mo­da­tion is in good con­di­tion’

ily for the the unit.

“How­ever, ten­ant com­plaints about th­ese prob­lems to the Rental Hous­ing Tri­bunal have by and large been vin­di­cated and ten­ants have re­cently achieved a num­ber of vic­to­ries. Any pre­con­cep­tion that land­lords are still priv­i­leged in­di­vid­u­als with the whip hand has been de­stroyed,” says Clarke.

He says ten­ants should take care when deal­ing di­rectly with land­lords. He rec­om­mends that they ask for de­tails of pre­vi­ous ten­ants and get in touch with them to find out how the land­lord con­ducts him­self once the lease is signed.

‘re­in­state­ment’ of

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