How Long for My Rental Deposit Refund?

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30 Jan 2013

A Property24 reader asks:

What is the maximum time a landlord has to refund your deposit after premises has been vacated? If all is in order.

What is the maximum time a landlord has to refund your deposit after premises has been vacated? If all is in order. 

David Beattie, principal of Chorus Letting, a Cape Town based specialist residential letting company, advises:  

The Rental Housing Act is very clear on the terms on which a deposit must be repaid. The period in which the landlord is obligated to refund the tenant’s deposit is determined by whether or not there is any damage to the property and if the tenant attended the move out inspection. These terms can be summarised into three main periods: 

  • Should there be no amounts owing by the tenant to the rental agent or landlord either for monies owing and unpaid in terms of the lease agreement, the landlord shall pay the full amount of the deposit plus any interest thereon to the tenant no later than seven days after the termination date, not including weekends or public holidays.
     
  • Should the agent deduct the reasonable cost of repairing damage caused to the property or any monies owing by the tenantfrom the deposit in terms of any provisions of the lease agreement, the landlord shall pay the balance of the deposit plus the interest thereon to the tenant no later than fourteen days after the termination date.
     
  • Should the tenant fail to attend the move out inspection the agent or landlord must, on termination of the lease agreement, inspect the property within seven working days from the termination date to assess any damages or loss which occurred during the lease period. The agent shall deduct the reasonable cost of repairing any damage found to the property or any monies owing by the tenant in terms of any provisions of the lease agreement from the deposit. The balance of the deposit plus the interest thereon shall be refunded to the tenant no later than twenty one days after the termination date. 

Readers may submit questions to Property24’s Guest Expert panel and/or comment below. We may not be able to answer all questions received, but all will be considered. 

About the Author
David Beattie

David Beattie

David Beattie is principal of Chorus Letting, a Cape Town based specialist residential letting company. He is also a director on the Western Cape Institute of Estate Agents, and is their rental expert. In addition, David is a property investor himself and has also appeared on SAfm’s The Law Report speaking about property rental matters.

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