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WCLawyer
WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 14766
Experience:  L.LB (UOVS)
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In terms of a fixed term lease agreement, where the lease states

Resolved Question:

In terms of a fixed term lease agreement, where the lease states that it will expire at a specific date and there is no mention of notice to cancel only that the lease will expire at that date unless 2 months written notice to renew is given. Do you have to give notice that there will be no renewal and is verbal notice sufficient?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  WCLawyer replied 10 months ago.
Good day and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try and assist you today.

In order to provide you with the most accurate answer, I may have to ask you a lot of questions. This may seem tedious and irrelevant, but trust me, there is a reason for every question. So please be patient throughout the process and if it takes a little long for me to come back to you, it is probably because I am researching your answer. I hope that is okay.

Are you the tenant or the landlord?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Hi John,


 


I m the tenant. My lease agreement expires on the 30 Sept, and as I said the provision states "terminates at 30 September 2013 on which date the lessee undertakes to vacate the property" There is no provision for notice to be given only that if I want to renew then I have to give 2 months written notice.


I called him 1st August and told him I would not be renewing.


I know in terms of the consumer protection act you are suppose to still give 30 days notice but I cant find anything that states that it must be written notice so I just wanted know if verbal notice is still notice in terms of the CPA


 


thanks


 

Expert:  WCLawyer replied 10 months ago.
I gather from this that you wish to move out at the end of your lease term? In other words, you don't want to stay on after 30 September? Is that correct?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Yes that's correct. I m worried he will keep my deposit

Expert:  WCLawyer replied 10 months ago.
What is the value of the deposit and are you moving out of town?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Deposit is one months rent, R5700 and no just finding somewhere else to stay.

Expert:  WCLawyer replied 10 months ago.
To be quite honest, neither the Rental Housing Act, nor the Consumer Protection Act require you to give notice to the landlord that you are not going to continue with the lease. The Consumer Protection Act does state that if the landlord wishes to end the lease agreement on the termination date and not continue with the lease agreement on a month to month basis, then he needs to give you notice, somewhere between 40 - 80 business days before the end of the lease.

I cannot find a similar obligation on the tenant in any of the two acts. Unless there is such an obligation in the contract, then such an obligation does not exist through the operation of law.

It can possibly be argued that it would be common courtesy to inform the landlord that you are not going to continue with the lease, which you did, albeit telephonic.

If the landlord did not market the property for rent after 30 September, knowing, through your telephonic notice, that you are not going to stay on, he cannot withhold your deposit legally. From a reading of the Act, it seems clear to me that the responsibility is on him to establish whether you are going to stay on or not.

The notice that the tenant is supposed to give in terms of section 14, is if he wishes to terminate the lease agreement before the end of the fixed term, so it does not apply in your instance.

I wish I could tell you that he is not going to withhold the deposit if you show him this, but some people do whatever they want and that is why we have courts.

If he does withhold your deposit, you can take this matter to the Small Claims Court. This is the cheapest and quickest way to collect a sum of under R 12 000. Nobody is allowed to use lawyers and the whole process will cost you about R 100.

The Small Claims Court is usually located at your local Magistrates Court and you should ask to speak to the Clerk of the Small Claims Court. They will assist you in issuing a letter of demand and then later a summons.

You will have to represent yourself on a date that will be given to you by the Clerk of the Court, however, this is normally after hours, which means that you do not need to take off work.

I hope this helps you a little bit, but if you have follow up questions before you rate, feel free to ask them at no extra cost. If you are satisfied with the service, kindly rate it positively. I do not get anything unless you rate the service.
WCLawyer, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 14766
Experience: L.LB (UOVS)
WCLawyer and other South Africa Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX needed confirmation that I was right before I starting shouting and screaming.

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