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Amendments to Rental Housing Bill Approved

May 26, 2017

Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements

The portfolio committee on human settlements has approved the Rental Housing Amendment Bill as amended by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP).

The bill was revived in August after having being tabled in November 2013.

The committee called for comment on the proposed legislation towards the end of November last year and public hearings were held in late January 2014.

The bill clarifies obligations and rights of landlords and tenants and provides for the establishment of rental housing tribunals in every province and also rental information offices in every municipality.

The bill also brings the legislation in line with the name change of the department from the Department of Housing to the Department of Human Settlements.

Other provisions in the bill include:

• clarify the responsibility of government;
• set out the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords in a coherent manner;
• require leases to be in writing;
• extend the application of Chapter 4 to all provinces;
• require the MEC’s to establish Rental Housing Tribunals;
• extend the powers of the Rental Housing Tribunals;
• provide for an appeal process;
• require all municipalities to have Rental Housing Information Offices;
• provide for norms and standards related to rental housing; and
• improved penalties and offences.

The bill had reached the NCOP before the fourth parliament ended its term. The national assembly passed the bill in February 2014.

The NCOP agreed to the bill in March.

In a briefing to the committee this week the human settlements department pointed out that the NCOP had introduced two amendments to the bill.

The word “landlord” had been replaced by “landowner” throughout the bill and the reference to the “national assembly” had been changed to “parliament” to ensure that both houses of parliament were included.

The National Assembly will now vote on the bill.