What you need to know

lWhen renting any dwelling, sign a lease agreement so that you know what the agreement is all about or how much you gave the landlord as a security deposit.

lWhen renting any dwelling, sign a lease agreement so that you know what the agreement is all about or how much you gave the landlord as a security deposit.

l Keep copies of all your receipts. This is the first mistake Mokaba made. Her landlord does not even recall how much she paid and he too did not keep a record when she paid her security deposit.

l Before you take occupation, take pictures of the property.

Note anything that is damaged or worn-out and give a copy to the landlord.

l Make two copies, one for yourself and one for the landlord.

l Any promises the landlord makes must be in writing. Remember, your contract is in writing and any variations, additions and promises must be in writing too.

l Give your notice in writing and keep a copy.

When the day to move approaches, set up a time with your landlord to do final inspection. Again, make sure you take lots of pictures.

l Do not leave without doing an inspection and leave keys to the caretaker or landlord in person.

l If you have followed the procedure your landlord has no excuse to keep your money. If there are damages the landlord has a month to notify you about them. After that time they have no legal right to keep any portion of your deposit.

l Consumers can also lodge their complaints concerning unfair practices to the Tenant and Landlords dispute resolution Tribunal found in all nine provinces.

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