When leasing a property there are a few things a landlord must do in accordance with the law. A landlord who is obliged by law or in terms expressed or implied terms of the lease provide utilities such as water, electricity or gas services to a tenant. He must provide these services and not cause a non-supply for any reason while the tenant resides in the dwelling.
The only time a landlord may interrupt the supply of such utilities is in an emergency or after reasonable notice has been given to the tenant to carry out maintenance, repairs or renovations, but the services must resume as soon as reasonably possible after such and emergency, maintenance repairs or renovations.
A landlord must ensure that the tenant is not exposed to risk or loss of services provided when such payment is due, if the tenant has made payment to the landlord for the utilities provided. The landlord must ensure that the service provider is paid in turn and timeously. A landlord must also charge the tenant the exact amount for the services consumed and may not charge their own prorata rate.
This must be done weather the dwelling is metered separately or if it is part of a multi-tenant dwelling like a sectional title for example. When utilities are in question especially when a dwelling is metered for services and payment has been made to the landlord directly, the landlord must provide the tenant with a monthly statement which must include the following information; The names of both the landlord and the tenant as well as the physical; address of the dwelling. The name, address and telephone number of each service provider. The previous and current months meter reading. The actual consumption of each service and the amount charged therefore including the total payment due. It must also include the next meter reading date for each service and the amount of any arrears.
This might seem like it is to the benefit of only the tenant, however, when a landlord does comply with the above mentioned legalities it reduces the risk on their investment. Clear record keeping also reduces the unfortunate situation where a clerical error may end in litigation that neither party would want.
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