Tim Chase has been a director of STBB for 30 years. He is an attorney admitted to practice in the High Court of South Africa. He has experience in a variety of litigation matters, property law disputes, commercial and residential leases and specialises in all aspects of debt recovery.

Thought of the Week | What if the lease is silent on the matter of interest on the deposit?

It often happens that a landlord and tenant’s written or oral agreement omits to mention what should happen to the deposit and the interest that accrued thereon during the lease, on termination thereof.

Perhaps unknown to many, the Rental Housing Act has certain deemed provisions that apply to residential lease agreements, the word ‘deemed’ implicating that the Act’s provisions apply whether or not the parties actually agreed on those terms. Some of these relate to the deposit and interest that accrued thereon. These provide, in short, that although there is no statutory obligation to pay a deposit, where the parties indeed agree on a deposit, it should be applied to make good damage that resulted from the tenancy, if any, and the balance returned to the tenant on termination, within prescribed periods. Pending termination, the deposit must otherwise remain invested in an interest bearing account at a bank, interest accruing for the benefit of the tenant.

The Act contains more details relating to the rate of interest, what the deposit must be used for and the position where an agent acts on behalf of the landlord. You can read more here.

Contact STBB for all your requirements relating to your rights and obligations as landlord or tenant in a lease.