DURBAN – After more than 100 days of the nationwide lockdown, the very real economic implications are coming to the fore. One of the groups affected right now are landlords, many of whom have been unable to collect rent during the past three months.
Regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa Adrian Goslett advised that each party take some time to clearly understand their rights and responsibilities over this period.
“The minister passed a Government Gazette that places a moratorium on eviction orders for the duration of the lockdown. This means even if the landlord is in possession of an eviction order, he or she cannot execute or action the eviction order for the duration of the lockdown. This also means tenants are not allowed to move out during this period,” said Goslett.
While there’s no perfect solution that will solve the current crisis overnight, Pearl Scheltema, CEO of Fitzanne Estates says having an open and honest conversation about repayment terms and what can and cannot be expected is a great way to start the process.
“Landlords need to work and communicate with their tenants during this time. It’s possible to come to a fair agreement that accommodates both parties, leading to a smoother and ultimately more successful long-term relationship,” she said.
While these are unprecedented times rental disputes cases are expected to be on the increase. Scheltema advises landlords to act swiftly, professionally and stay in close contact with tenants in order to find ways to work together to find solutions.
“If you’re genuinely unable to afford your rent, try negotiating with your landlord. Set up payment terms within a written agreement that stipulates the details and what both parties can expect. The best thing landlords can do now is to equip themselves with the necessary team to offer guidance and assistance as the situation becomes more complex,” she concluded.
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