Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Western Cape
My lease with my landlord ended on Started on 1 Feb 2020 and ended on 1 March 2021. I informed the landlord on 4 January 2021 that I will be vacating and not extending my lease. On exit day, the landlord and their agent did not initiate a joint inspection of the property. On 14 March 2021, 13 days after vacating the property, the landlord emailed me a quotation for cleaning costs without having first invited me to a joint exit inspection. In terms of section 5(7)(j) of the Rental Housing Act, am I entitled to refuse to pay for the quotation as the landlord did not invite me to a joint exit inspection?
Thanks for your assistance!
Answer to the Question
Hi there Letlotlo and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow-up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
Here is an updated copy of the Housing Rental Act.
In terms of section 5(3)(e) of the Act, the tenant and the landlord must jointly, before the tenant moves into the dwelling, inspect the dwelling to ascertain the existence or not of any defects or damage therein with a view to determining the landlord's responsibility for rectifying any defects or damage or with a view to registering such defects or damage, as provided for in subsection (7);
In terms of section 5(3)(f) of the Act, at the expiration of the lease the landlord and tenant must arrange a joint inspection of the dwelling at a mutually convenient time to take place within a period of three days prior to such expiration with a view to ascertaining if there was any damage caused to the dwelling during the tenant's occupation thereof;
The important section which applies in your instance is section 5(3)(j) which records that a failure by the landlord to inspect the dwelling in the presence of the tenant as contemplated in paragraphs (e) or (f) is deemed to be an acknowledgement by the landlord that the dwelling isin a good and proper state of repair, and the landlord will have no further claim against the tenant who must then be refunded, in terms of this subsection, the full deposit plus interest by the landlord;
So, my advice is that you need to get ALL of your deposit back. The landlord can't deduct anything.
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