Good Day to whom it may concern,A tenant...

Asked by simon on 08-01-2024 09:54:11
Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Eastern Cape

Good Day to whom it may concern,

A tenant has a 13 month fixed period lease ending 28 Feb 2024. The tenant however cancelled on 27 Dec. 2023.

The lease notes the following early termination clause:

2.3.2 If the Tenant terminates, then the Tenant will be liable to pay all amounts due by the Tenant in terms of this Agreement up to the date of cancellation, plus a reasonable cancellation penalty, based on, amongst other factors, the amount of the Rental payable, the area where the Premises are located, the duration of the Lease and the prospect of re-letting. The landlord shall be entitled to charge a minimum penalty of 2 months Rental.

I have two queries:

1 I am trying to secure a tenant, for either 1 Feb or 1 Mar 2024, but if I can only secure a tenant by 1 Mar., I am wandering if the following applies:

-          Penalty of 1 months (lost) rent (of R9450)?

-          Charge of advert costs (R390 currently), credit checks (no costs yet) etc.?

2 It is also difficult to put aside a prospective tenant that can only occupy on 1 Mar, in order to satisfy the early termination date of 1 Feb; as that may also not work out. It puts the landlord under strain to secure by 1 Feb, and even puts finding a tenant for 1 Mar at risk. Am I the landlord safeguarded by the lease clause, and can I then secure any viable tenant (even if secured by 10 Jan for example) even if their occupation will only be on 1 Mar. In other words, can the tenant perhaps argue, that i secured a tenant on the 10 Jan for 1 Mar occupation (for example), and that I really really ought to and could have searched longer for a tenant for 1 Feb occupation?

Please advise. 

Many thanks, Kind regards,


If you would like to view the entire answer, you will need to either login or register a FREE account.


DISCLAIMER: Advice or answers from Lawyers on South African Legal Advice are not substitutes for the proper advice of an Lawyer. South African Legal Advice is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Lawyer who assists with your question is not your Lawyer, and the response above is not to be considered to be legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from individual Lawyers, not South African Legal Advice. The site and services are provided “as is”. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.