Property owners are legally responsible for shopping complex security - lawyer

The Midday Report has received complaints from tenants at a Joburg shopping mall who claim that they have been robbed numerous times.

This has sparked questions around whose responsibility it is to provide security at shopping centres.

Ray White spoke to Mark Leathers, Partner and Attorney at Mc Naught & Company.

Leathers says while a tenant is responsible for the security of their own shop, the onus lies on the property owner to provide general security around the building, depending on the agreement.

With regards to the common areas, the walkways, parking area - that is going to depend on the terms of the lease agreement and also the monetary turnover of the tenant.

Mark Leathers, Partner and Attorney at Mc Naught & Company

Generally, the answer is going to be that the owner has to provide a safe environment and this requirement stems from sections 48 onward of the Consumer Protection Act.

Mark Leathers, Partner and Attorney at Mc Naught & Company

Leathers says there is no legal definition as to what is required to ensure security, but the property owner needs to take steps that are objectively fair and reasonable to keep the property safe for tenants and customers.

He says tenants under the Consumer Protection Act can opt out of the lease without penalty and refer non-compliance to the Consumer Commission.

A Landlord merely saying it's not my problem - I am not concerned - is definitely not acting in the best of faith towards the tenant.

Mark Leathers, Partner and Attorney at Mc Naught & Company

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....

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