06 Mar 2012
If problems arise with rented properties, especially those in the residential sector, they frequently revolve around maintenance issues.
This is according to Tony Clarke, Managing Director of Rawson Properties and he says there is a real need to define clearly at the outset in lease agreements, exactly what maintenance is the responsibility of the landlord and what should be done by the tenant.
In most instances it is the landlord's duty to see that regular maintenance keeps the unit attractive and habitable, he says.
However, he explains unless otherwise stated, it is also widely accepted in rental agreements that the tenant has to keep the premises clean, look after the garden (and the pool if there is one) and carry out repairs on any damaged or spoilt sections of the building where he has been responsible for the problem.
Asked for examples, Clarke says that if a tenant cracks an oven door, blocks a drain, breaks a window or fails to mow a lawn he can legitimately be warned that it is his duty to do so within a reasonable time span. The tenant can also be charged with resultant damages due to neglecting to carry out such maintenance.
Furthermore, Clarke says if a tenant fails to report a problem to the landlord or his agent and the damage then escalates (as for example when a minor leak becomes a flood) the tenant can be held responsible for all the subsequent repairs and costs.
Similarly, if the landlord is advised but does not respond promptly in putting the damage right, he too can be held fully responsible for all subsequent damage to the tenant’s property (such as furniture).
He says bad tenants in sectional title schemes are likely to find themselves fined by the body corporate for neglecting to put damages right or for poor maintenance. In some instances, he adds, in order to avoid these fines being increased the landlord may pay them himself - but he is then entitled to sue the tenant for repayment plus interest if it was the tenant's negligence that caused the problem.
A good landlord or rental agent will make sure that the tenant understands these conditions on signing the lease and will keep sufficient checks on him to step in fast if the condition of the unit begins deteriorating, says Clarke.
“Open communication and swift action on maintenance are the keys to satisfactory landlord-tenant relationships - and this is a lesson we at the Rawson Rentals division take great pains to inculcate with our Rental franchisees and agents.”
House for sale in Edendale R 2 250 000
House for sale in Savannah Country Estate R 3 300 000
House for sale in Sinoville R 1 395 000
House for sale in Benoni R 417 000
House for sale in Nyala Park R 1 600 000
Apartment / Flat for sale in Montana Gardens R 790 000
Apartment / Flat for sale in Allens Nek R 665 000
House for sale in Calypso Beach R 1 500 000
Townhouse for sale in Birchleigh North R 950 000
House for sale in Newlands West R 860 000
If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.
For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724