I was wondering what kind of rights I have as a tenant. I know I have signed an agreement with the landlord but is that always binding? Are there any laws that protect a tenants rights regardless of the contract they have signed?
Replied by Realcom
on Friday, December 14 2012, 04:42 PM
Hello Ms. Ester
A tenant’s rights can also be looked at as a Lessor’s or Landlord’s implied obligations in a landlord – tenant relation which are as follows:
1. Quiet enjoyment - The landlord guarantees that the tenant shall have peaceful enjoyment of the premises (as long as the tenant pays rent and performs other obligations placed on him under the lease / tenancy agreement).
The word quiet is not restricted to absence of noise.
It is a covenant for freedom from interruption by the landlord or his representative to enjoy the property without disturbance or interruption.
2. Non derogation from grant - The rule is that the landlord shall not use or permit to be used any adjoining or neighbouring land of which he is the proprietor in such a way as to make difficult the use of that which he has granted.
3. Fitness for habitation - If any dwelling house, flat or room is leased, that the house, flat or room is fit for human habitation at the commencement of the lease and during the lease.
4. Duty to repair - The general rule is that there is no implied obligation by a landlord to repair leased premises. However if only part of a building is leased, the landlord is required to keep the roof, the external main walls, main drains, common passages and common installations in repair.
5. Fitness for purpose - If the land or premises can only be used for a specific purpose, the lessee can terminate by one month notice if the property can no longer be used for that purpose.
6. Suspension of rent - If premises are destroyed by fire, flood or explosion or other accident (not caused by lessee’s / tenant’s negligence), civil commotion, lightning, storm, earthquake, volcanic activity or other natural disaster, rent shall be suspended until premises are made fit for habitation within 6 months and lessee shall have the option to terminate.
7. Have paid all rates, taxes dues and outgoings that are payable in respect of the leased land.