According to the Rental Housing Act – A dwelling includes any house, hostel room, hut, shack, flat, apartment, room, outbuilding, garage or similar structure a landlord leases to a tenant to live in. A storeroom, outbuilding, garage or demarcated parking space can form part of the leased dwelling if this was agreed between the landlord/landlady and tenant (Definitions, Chapter 1 of the Rental Housing Act).
Is the RHA restricted to dwellings in urban areas only? No! It applies to leases of residential dwellings in the entire geographical area of South Africa; rural and urban areas.
Can a Municipality, Provincial or National Government be considered a Landlord? Yes! Owners of private dwellings, municipalities, provincial and national governments and any person or entity (e.g., Close Corporation, Company, Trust) who leases a dwelling to a tenant is a landlord. This includes departments or components within the government acting on its behalf such as the department of housing or public works.
What happens when a Tenant or a Landlord breaks the Law in terms of the RHA or their relationship breaks down? They can contact the RHT for advice; file a complaint so that any dispute or conflict regarding an unfair practice or matters affecting the relationship between parties in respect of their lease contract can be resolved.