Landlords warned to be careful when choosing rental agents

Read the guide to “fair wear and tear” compiled by property attorney Marlon Shevelew here.

Property owners who want to lease their property through rental agents have been warned to follow all the necessary steps and procedures.

The role of the rental agent is to facilitate an agreement between a landlord and tenant for the rental of a residential property.

A rental agent can either make life easier for landlords or create a nightmare situation.

RELATED: How South Africa's new property laws will change the real estate industry

They are responsible for duties such as finding tenants, conducting credit checks, constructing lease agreements, collecting payments, maintaining the property and more.

It's important for landlords to vet potential rental agents to make sure that they are qualified to provide these services.

Once a landlord chooses the right agent, property attorney Marlon Shevelew says the relationship must be formalised with a sole mandate.

A sole mandate is a written agreement that gives an agent exclusive rights to market, sell or lease a property.

In order to have a formal relationship between a landlord and an agent, there needs to be a mandate.

Marlon Shevelew, Property attorney - Marlon Shevelew and Associates

A sole mandate, which invariably is someone managing your property, does have to be in writing.

Marlon Shevelew, Property attorney - Marlon Shevelew and Associates

RELATED: WC Rental Tribunal says it doesn't take sides in tenant-landlord disputes

Shevelew says landlords must be well-informed about the contents of lease agreements and understand every clause in the legally binding document.

He adds that rental agents are meant to represent the interests of the landlord and should always keep the lines clear.

An agent is a supplier of a service to a landlord. They're getting paid for that.

Marlon Shevelew, Property attorney - Marlon Shevelew and Associates

Shevelew joined consumer journalist Wendy Knowler who offered some case studies and described the risks involved in hiring rental agents to operate on your behalf.

It's a lesson for landlords to read the contract really carefully so that you know what you're really in for.

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Listen to the full discussion on ConsumerTalk with Wendy Knowler:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Landlords warned to be careful when choosing rental agents


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