Tenant’s Rights in South Africa – Why Should the Landlord Care?

Tenant's rights in South AfricaLandlords need to know tenants’ rights in South Africa and not only the landlord’s rights and obligations because:

  • The landlord will know when a tenant is overstepping his/her rights. This may help speed up the eviction process.
  • Understanding the tenant’s rights may stop a landlord from abusing them unknowingly – a fact that may negatively affect any successful eviction.
  • The landlord can confidently make sure the tenant meets their obligations.

Hire Eviction Lawyers South Africa for in-depth knowledge and advice about the obligations and rights of tenants in South Africa.

Important questions about a tenant’s rights in South Africa answered:

What are a tenant’s rights and obligations when a lease expires? What if the landlord allows the tenant to stay on the property?

  • In general, landlords and tenants both have the right to give notice to each other, cancelling any lease agreement between them. (See Rental Housing Act 1999.)
  • Both the landlord and tenant must give at least one month’s notice to the other party when wanting to cancel the lease. (See Rental Housing Act 1999.)
  • The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) gives additional rights to the tenant by allowing them to cancel the lease provided 20 business days’ notice is given. (Note: this does not apply to some juristic persons.)
  • HOWEVER, should the above additional rights of the tenant be exercised, the tenant may be obliged to pay a “reasonable” cancellation fee – up to three months’ rental.

When can a tenant’s right to occupy a home be affected?

A tenant continues to have the right to occupy the home, as long as they comply with the obligations stated in the lease agreement.

Can the landlord do anything to the property without the knowledge of the tenant?

No. The tenant must be consulted on issues affecting them. For example: repairs, renovations, electricity cuts, lock changes, etc.

Can the tenant’s right to remain in a property be cancelled if the landlord is selling the property?

No. The tenant has the right to stay in the property until the lease expires whether there is a change in ownership or not (provided the tenant’s obligations as per the lease are met).

Is a tenant obligated to use the rental property in a certain way?

Yes. The tenant can only use the leased premises for the purposes as stated in the lease agreement.

Does a tenant have the right to sublet the leased premises?

No. The tenant must have permission from the landlord to sublet the property.

Can a tenant make alterations to the property without consent from the landlord?



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