Hi thereI signed a residential rental le...

Asked by Bronwen on 10-06-2024 15:02:34
Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Gauteng

Hi there

I signed a residential rental lease from Feb last year (12 months) for a townhouse unit in a complex.  The lease expired at the end of Feb this year. I've requested a new lease which is now almost half a year overdue. In November last year, it was made clear to me that the owner is having financial trouble and was keen to sell the townhouse property. I accommodated an estate agent to do a valuation of the premises. No follow up was provided and I had to request an answer myself. I was told the owner "couldn't afford to sell" - no information was offered beyond that. This wasn't very reassuring for me.

The rent has only now been increased with a "we forgot..." explanation. I've paid an increased amount (escalation) end May and will pay the new rental amount from end this month. I only have this on email (in writing). As mentioned, no new lease. So I am, by default, on a month-to-month even though I requested not to be.

Now I receive a message from the agent I pay rent to every month to expect a call from another estate agent. An hour later, I do. This time both agents tell me another valuation is to be conducted as the owner wants to apply for more finance. 

Is an estate agent for this purpose the correct process? For a bank loan?When the estate agents arrived for their valuation, one proceeded to take photographs of all my belonging in the house, in every room - without any permission from me. Do they have any right to do this?Today I am told to accommodate viewings of the property. To my mind, this indicates that the owner wants to sell - which I suspected anyway. Do these agents + the owner have any right to list this property using images of my personal belongings when they do have images of an empty property (the same visuals I saw when requesting a viewing to rent)? On a month-to-month, what can potentially happen should a sale be made?

I'd appreciate any clarity as to what my rights may be in relation to the above as a tenant. I don't believe there has been honesty / transparency from the owner and rental agent's side of things. 

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