Good afternoon. I need URGENT legal advi...

Asked by Edna de Beer on 29-04-2022 13:47:17
Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Limpopo

Good afternoon. I need URGENT legal advice. I want to rent a property but the contract seems unreasonable. I need to sign by tomorrow latest...

The contract is in Afrikaans. I have highlighted the parts I query and have given my comments/questions in red.

PLEASE advise ASAP. Please let me know in advance what your fees are.

How do I attach a copy of this lease?

Regards,

Edna de Beer.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 29-04-2022 14:04:01

Hi there 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.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

Can you send the lease agreement to caselawja (at) outlook.com

Information provided by client

Contract Sent to ***BLOCKED-EMAIL-ADDRESS***
Unfortunately the contract is in Afrikaans...

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 29-04-2022 14:20:05

I've received the contract. Let me read through it quickly.

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 29-04-2022 14:56:36

Regarding the address question, you need to ask the landlord (or the agent) to clarify which is the correct address. The wrong address must be removed.

Clause 3.2.7 simply means that if anything is changed in the agreement, those changes would form part of the original agreement. 

Regarding clause 5.1.3 and the interest, this is something that you need to negotiate with the landlord. 

Regarding the VAT, the landlord can't charge VAT on residential premises. 

The landlord must be asked for the municipal accounts. 

Regarding clause 6.1, you are 100% correct and this clause must be changed to give you 7 days. 

Clause 8.1.6 - if you think that tree roots, branches, etc are an issue, then this clause must be amended to include those items. 

Clause 8.1.7 - I agree with you. That exclusion must come out of the agreement. If the blockage is caused by tree roots, then the landlord must pay. Otherwise, if the blockage is caused by you, you must pay.

Clause 8.1.8 - I agree with you. You must negotiate a change to this clause which you would be happy with. 

Most lease agreements contain a clause like 8.1.10, and I don't think that your landlord will agree to change this clause. It is a standard clause to protect the landlord.

Agree regarding the building insurance.

Just tell the landlord that you want to put up paintings, and that you will fix the holes when you take the paintings down. 

Exclude the trees from the pruning clause.

Ensure that your ability to keep the dogs on the property is included in the lease agreement. 

Agree with your concerns regarding clause 9.1.1 - they must amend it so you are happy with the wording.

Most lease agreements contain a clause like 9.1.9, and I don't think that your landlord will agree to change this clause. It is a standard clause to protect the landlord.

Clause 11.1.2 means that if you can't use 50% of the property, then you are entitled to pay 50% less rental.

I agree with clause 12.1.4 - it is illegal.

Clause 17 means that if you are supposed to fix the toilet, and you don't, then the landlord can fix it on your behalf and then claim the costs from you. (the toilet is just an example of something that you are supposed to do in the lease)

Clause 18 is very broad. This needs to be changed. 

Information provided by client

The landlord refuses to make any changes to the contract. Says it is a standard contract...

Can I risk signing it and then take problems up with the Rental Housing comission if there is any dispute during the term of lease,

or will I be signing all my rights away ????

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 29-04-2022 15:58:54

In relation to some of the issues (like where you have highlighted the housing tribunal) it is fine to sign the lease because you can't contract out of the law. The act will over-ride the terms of the lease.

But in relation to other issues, like maintenance things that you need to attend to, you must get that right before you sign the lease. 

Information provided by client

Thanks Patric. I really appreciate. Have a GREAT weekend!

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