Pre-empting the Rental Housing Amendment Act, which has been envisioned to formalise a list of requirements that set out, in clear terms, the obligations of both landlord and tenant in a rental agreement, could land you in hot water. Michelle Dickens, MD of TPN Credit Bureau, which specialises in tenant behavioural profiles, warns that making changes to leases before the amendment act becomes law will leave you with little to no recourse should litigation be your final option to settle a dispute. She references a case heard last year in the high court in Pretoria, where the judge set aside an application brought by a landlord relating to a dispute that had gone through the rental housing tribunal. In the case — Kondile vs Canary and Another — the landlord had asked for the rescinding of a tribunal ruling, based on the amendment act. The case was thrown out with costs awarded to the tenants. Since the Rental Housing Act came into force almost two decades ago, several practical and st...

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