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Housing Rental Tribunal

Housing Rental Tribunal

Housing Rental Tribunal

Background

The Gauteng Rental Housing Tribunal was established by the Rental Housing Act of 50 of 1999. The Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body, which serves a regulatory function. In that, it sets out guidelines which have to be followed when parties enter into a rental agreement.

The Tribunal aims to promote stability in the rental housing sector by resolving disputes that may arise between landlords and tenants as result of the commission of unfair practices.

Mission of the Tribunal

The Tribunal aims to :

  • provide accessible mechanisms to landlords and tenants, which will enable them to resolve their disputes
  • provide consumer education so as to educate those in the rental housing sector about their rights and duties
  • protect landlords and tenants against unfair practices .

The Tribunal handles the following matters:

  • non-refund of deposits
  • problems that arise due to leases that are not in full compliance with the law
  • non-payment of rent
  • harassment and intimidation
  • eviction without a court order and lock outs
  • lack of maintenance to the dwelling
  • overcrowding
  • exploitative rent and service charges
  • house rules
  • the issuing of receipts for rent payments
  • service cuts-offs without a court order.

Functions of the Tribunal

The Tribunal is vested with rights, as accorded to it by the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999 and the Unfair Practices Regulations promulgated thereto.

The Tribunal performs the following functions:

  • resolves complaints through conciliatory processes such as mediation and arbitration
  • offers advice on issues related to residential leases and rentals
  • provides consumer education which is important for informing people about their rights and duties as parties in the rental sector .

The services are free.

Processes of lodging a complaint

A complaint can be lodged at the various information offices, which are located at municipal offices, all complaints that are lodged with the Tribunal, must be writing as per the Regulations. Complaint forms may be faxed through to the office.

  • complaint is registered
  • letters are issued to both parties
  • mediation is scheduled; if there is no agreement between the parties at mediation, then the matter goes for hearing
  • arbitration (Tribunal hearing); ruling is given, and then the file gets closed.
  • the decision given by the Tribunal at a hearing is binding on both parties.

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