Repainting a rented property – who should pay?

83163720_XSMaintenance of houses and apartments can be a costly aspect for any property owner, but when it comes to renting, who is responsible for these costs – the owner or the tenant?

As with many legal questions relating to property, there is no clear-cut answer that covers every scenario, but there are a few points that one should consider and that give a good overview of who might be responsible for what maintenance costs related to a rented property.

The first thing to note is that any details of responsibilities and obligations for both tenant and landlord should be clearly stated in the written lease agreement – this ensures that there is no ambiguity that can easily result in disputes. Because of the vast variety of types of properties, the maintenance requirements for each is likely to be quite different. If there are details relating to taking care of a particular property (for example, maintaining a garden or a balcony) these should be expressly included in the lease agreement.

However, there are a number of basics that apply to most situations. The overarching idea is that general maintenance related to the normal use of a property is covered by the owner of the property, while maintenance or repairs that are required due to misuse or negligence would need to be covered by the tenant.

By way of example, if the geyser needs replacing or a leak in the roof needs repairing, the owner is responsible for the related costs. But water damage as a result of leaving a faucet open would be considered negligence and therefore repair costs would be the tenant’s responsibility.

The tenant is also obligated, when moving out, to leave the property in the same state as it was in when occupation of the property was taken. This means that if a window is cracked or the floors scratched, these may need to be fixed at the tenant’s expense. For this reason, it is essential that the owner, landlord or letting agent performs a full property inspection along with the tenant when moving in to make a complete checklist of the current state of the property at the time. This will determine any damage that existed when the tenant moved in as well as any damage that was the tenant’s fault during their stay that requires fixing.

Bearing this in mind, painting would often be considered general maintenance of the property. However, if repainting is required due to damage caused by the tenant (for example, if the paintwork was scratched by moving furniture or hanging pictures, or the tenant painted the walls a different colour during their occupancy), the costs can be recouped from the tenant.

The best advice to avoid any disagreements regarding these situations is to make sure all these elements are discussed and included in the lease agreement prior to signing.

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Seeff Ola Youth Soccer Tournament Winners

Rietvlei Soccer Park hosted The Seeff Ola Youth Soccer Tournament on Wednesday 27 April 2016.

We had over 15 teams enter there players from, under 6 all the way up to under 16.

Well done to all the age group winners.



unnamed“This case yet again demonstrates the need to be careful when dealing with a trust” (extract from judgment below)
For most of us, business dealings with trusts are most likely to happen when selling a property to, or buying a property from, a trust. But no matter why or how it happens, have your lawyer check that whoever signs for the trust is fully authorised to do so.
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1780 Eye of Africa Signature Golf Estate – R6 400 000

eye of africa


This brand new double storey mansion has just been completed and is situated in which is arguably one of the most popular parts of the Estate. North facing golf course views on the one side and beautiful mountain views on the other makes you feel like you have escaped to another country.

The home flows beautifully with open plan living areas downstairs of which the centrally located kitchen is a spectacular focal point. Stacked doors open up throughout the home which essentially gives you the feeling of outdoor living inside the house.

Book an appointment to come view this beautiful home!

Eye of Africa is more than a location. It’s one of South Africa’s best lifestyles. Only a short distance from Johannesburg’s CBD, Eye of Africa is a world away from the city’s busy streets and offices. At Eye of Africa, the community and superior leisure facilities flow with the rolling hills and undulating landscapes. Beautiful homes weave their way through the woodlands and hug the Greg Norman designed championship golf course. It is a place that provides a family orientated and tranquil way of life.

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ceiling-leakMaintenance of a sectional title scheme can appear straightforward, but the reality is that disputes arise frequently regarding maintenance issues relating to sectional title units. This is often the result of the complex relationship of close quarter living and the shared form of ownership represented by sectional titles. Making things even more complicated is the silence of the Sectional Titles Act on many of the minor issues encountered daily in sectional title schemes. So how do you approach the maintenance issues in a sectional title scheme?

Dave owns a flat on the second floor of a sectional title scheme. There is a water leak coming from flat A above him, causing damp problems in his flat and the owner of flat A does not repair the leak. This scenario creates a flurry of questions:

  • Should Dave, the owner of flat A or the body corporate repair the leak?
  • Can they enter flat A, or should the owner grant them permission first?
  • If the owner of flat A refuses to do the repairs or to grant access, what are they to do to stop the leak and further damage occurring?

What does the law say regarding the responsibility of parties in this scenario? Section 44(1)(a) and (c) of the Sectional Titles Act read with management rules 68-70 of the Sectional Titles Act provides that an owner must repair and maintain his section in a state of good repair. The owner must also allow a person who is authorized in writing by the body corporate to enter his section at a reasonable time and after notice was given (except in case of emergency when no notice is required) to enter the property. This will happen with the purpose to inspect, maintain, repair, or renew the pipes, wires cables, and ducts capable of being used in connection with the enjoyment of any other section or the common property.

Section 37 of the Sectional Titles Act requires the body corporate to maintain and repair the common property. Therefore, if the leak originates from the shower in flat A above, it will be the responsibility of the owner of flat A to repair the damage.

Due to the fact that the leak is caused by flat A’s shower base, and therefore forms part of his section and not the common property, it is the responsibility of the owner of the section causing the damage and the leak to repair it.

If such an owner does not repair the leak within a reasonable time as to stop further damage, the owner suffering the damage can ask the body corporate to step in and repair the leak using the same procedure as in the instance where the leak is caused by pipes forming part of the common property. The body corporate can then recover the cost of repairs from the defaulting owner.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

Cream of cauliflower soup with sautéed wild mushrooms



Try Gordon Ramsay’s rich, warming soup is finished off with the luxurious touch of wild mushrooms recipe this winter !





1 large cauliflower (about 1.3kg/3lb), stalks discarded and florets chopped

1 large potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks

1 medium onion, chopped

25g butter

4 tbsp olive oil

1.2l light chicken or vegetable stock

600ml full-fat milk

142ml carton double cream

250g wild mushroom – choose from ceps, girolles (chanterelles),

morels (either a mixture or just one type)

1-2 tbsp finely snipped chives



Put the cauliflower, potato and onion in a large saucepan with the butter and half of the oil. Gently heat the contents until they start to sizzle, then cover with a lid and sweat over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be softened but not coloured.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then pour in the milk and return gently to a boil. This way, there will be no scum forming from the milk. Season to taste then simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Pour in half the cream.

Blend everything in a food processor or blender, in batches. For an extra creamy texture, push the purée through a sieve with the back of a ladle. Stir in the rest of the cream. (If preparing ahead cool, cover and chill for up to a day.)

To serve, pick over the mushrooms. Wild mushrooms can be gritty so wash them quickly in a bowl of cold water then drain well and pat dry. Trim the stalks and chop or slice the mushrooms neatly. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and, when very hot, stir fry the mushrooms quickly until nicely browned, seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper as you cook them.

Reheat the soup until piping hot. Check for seasoning and ladle into warmed bowls. Spoon the mushrooms into the centre and sprinkle lightly with the chives. Italy’s elegant, mildly citrussy whites, such as Vernaccia di San Gimignano, or a Chardonnay would suit this rich soup.