With the price of property, buying a home is not always an option for some. Therefore, renting a home is often deemed the more affordable and convenient alternative.
However, there are certain legalities pertaining to renting a home. Before you sign a lease agreement, you need to know what your rights and your landlord’s rights are. Through educating yourself on the Rental Housing Act of 1999, you can ensure you avoid conflict and other issues.
What do you need to know about the Rental Housing Act of 1999?
According to Fathima Seedat of Maxsee Properties, the Rental Housing act regulates the relationship between the landlord and tenant. It also provides for a resolution in case of a dispute through the Rental Housing Tribunal.
Paying a deposit
According to the Rental Housing Act of 1999, a landlord is allowed to request a deposit before you move in. However, what many people do not know is that the deposit must be put into a separate bank account which can earn interest.
Rental House Act of 1999, under provisions pertaining to leases, it states the following:
The deposit contemplated in paragraph (c)must be invested by the landlord in an interest-bearing account with a financial institution and the landlord must, subject to paragraph (g) pay the tenant interest at the rate applicable to such account which may not be less than the rate applicable to a savings account with a financial institution.
Furthermore, the act states the tenant is well within his or her rights to request the landlord provide them with written proof of the interest accrued on the deposit.
The tenant’s rights
Seedat says the first basic right when renting is to have a binding lease agreement, which is agreed upon by both parties. Furthermore, the tenant has the right to receive a receipt for all monies paid to the landlord. They also have the right to a rental invoice which breaks down the different costs such as rent, electricity and water. The landlord cannot increase the rent during a fixed period.
The landlord’s rights
The landlord has the right to prompt and regular payments. The landlord also has the right to recover unpaid rental. They also have the right to terminate a lease, as long as it does not constitute an unfair practice. A landlord also has the right to claim fair compensation for any damages to the property.
If either the tenant or landlord breaks their contract, it is advisable to seek legal assistance. Seedat claims when it comes to renting a home, rental agents do make the process easier. “Rental agents are experience in screening clients and have knowledge and experience. However, an agent cannot be held liable for bad tenants. But, as a landlord, you will have peace of mind giving your property to a professional to handle the collections and maintenance.”