INTRODUCING RENTAL HOUSING AMENDMENT BILL

         BACKGROUND

 

-The Bill seeks to address certain implementation problems which have been encountered since the promulgation of the Rental Housing Act, on 1 August 2000.

OBJECTS OF THE BILL

         AMENDMENT OF SECTION 1

 

-The def of an "unfair practice" is substituted to widen its ambit.

 

         AMENDMENT OF SECTION 4

 

-Section 4 is also amended to exclude the bona fide visitor (who is bona fide and who is not)

         AMENDMENT OF SECTION 5

 

-Section 5 is amended to clarify aspects pertaining to issuing of receipts by the landlord and to insert a provision dealing with the costs associated with compliance with the provisions of section 5.(Contract fees)

 

         AMENDMENT OF SECTION 9

 

-Provisions pertaining to the composition of the Tribunals, are amended.

- The extension of period for the filling of vacancies from the current 1 month to 3 months.

- reposition the provision dealing with the appointment of the deputy chairperson of the Tribunal.

         AMENDMENT OF SECTION 10

 

         Where the Chairperson is not present, Deputy

 

- Chair presides and if both not present, members present must appoint amongst themselves a member to preside.

 

         AMENDMENT OF SECTION 13

 

- To clarify the jurisdiction of Tribunals in respect of eviction orders.

- To allow Tribunals to make rulings with regard to the compliance with the provisions of the Act.

- To enable Tribunals to issue spoliation and grant interdicts.

- Enforcement of the rulings

 

         AMENDMENT OF SECTION 15

 

- To empower the Minister to make regulations,

where as in the past this power was vested in the MEC'S.

-The rationale for this amendment is to ensure uniformity throughout the country with regards to the procedures followed by the Tribunals.

 

         AMENDMENT OF SECTION 16

 

- To make unlawful lock-outs and shutting off of utilities an offence.

 

PERSONS CONSULTED

 

-Bill published for public comment on 22 December 2006.

-Written comments were received from Provincial Housing Depts, Rental Housing Tribunals, Dept of Justice, Constitutional Development, Banking ASS OF SA, CIVIC RIGHTS ORG'S, INSTITUTE OF ESTATES AND MAG'S COMMISSION