Know your rights: The Rental Housing Tribunal

The Rental Housing Tribunal (“RHT”) has been established to resolve disputes between Landlords (“LL’s”) and tentants. RHT’s are created in terms of the Rental Housing Act and the services rendered are free of charge and can be used by the LL, tenant and property agents.

The RHT applies to all dwellings (house, hostel room, hut, shack, backroom/room,garage) used for residential housing purposes. The RHT does not apply to commercial or business property.

The tribunal has the authority to deal with many disputes which may arise, including the following:

-non payment of rentals

-failure to refund deposits

-invasion of tenants privacy

-discrimination by LL against prospective tenants

-the changing of locks

-illegal evictions

-switching off municipal services

To lodge a complaint: complaints have to be lodged in person or by mail at the relevant RHT office. When a complaint is lodged, the LL may not evict the tenant, the tenant must continue to pay all rent payable and the LL must continue to adhere to the necessary maintenance.

What documents do you need?

-Your ID/ permit/ passport

-the lease agreement

-proof of applicable payments

-proof of the physical address of both parties

It is always advisable to have a lease agreement in place which regulates the LL and tenant relationship. Familiarize yourself with it and the rules and laws pertaining to rentals. This will assist in ensuring that you don’t end up in a situation where you as the tenant or the LL are fighting for your rights.

{sources; Private Property, Department of Human Settlements}

52 thoughts on “Know your rights: The Rental Housing Tribunal”

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