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Rental Housing Act, 1999 (Act No. 50 of 1999)

Chapter 3 Relations Between Tenants and Landlords

4. General provisions



1) In advertising a dwelling for purposes of leasing it, or in negotiating a lease with a prospective tenant, or during the term of a lease, a landlord may not unfairly discriminate against such prospective tenant or tenants, or the members of such tenant’s household or the visitors of such tenant, on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.


2) A tenant has the right, during the lease period, to privacy, and the landlord may only exercise his or her right of inspection in a reasonable manner after reasonable notice to the tenant.


3) The tenant’s rights as against the landlord include his or her right not to have-
a) his or her person or home searched;
b) his or her property searched;
c) his or her possessions seized, except in terms of a law of general application and having first obtained a ruling by a Tribunal or an order of court; or
d) the privacy of his or her communications infringed.


4) The rights set out in subsection (3) apply equally to members of the tenant’s household and to visitors of the tenant.


5) The landlord’s rights against the tenant include his or her right to-
a) prompt and regular payment of a rental or any charges that may be payable in terms of a lease;
b) recover unpaid rental or any other amount that is due and payable after obtaining a ruling by the Tribunal or an order of a court of law;
c) terminate the lease in respect of rental housing property on grounds that do not constitute an unfair practice and are specified in the lease;
d) on termination of a lease to-
i) receive the rental housing property in a good state of repair, save for fair wear and tear; and
ii) repossess rental housing property having first obtained an order of court; and
e) claim compensation for damage to the rental housing property or any other improvements on the land on which the dwelling is situated, if any, caused by the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household or a visitor of the tenant.