Landlords in South Africa, beware! According to the Rental Housing Regulations, including a fixed penalty clause in your lease agreement for late rent payments can be considered an unfair practice. Here at SSLR Attorneys, we want to ensure our clients are up-to-date on the legalities of landlord-tenant relationships.

Why Penalty Clauses are Unfair
The issue with penalty clauses is their fixed nature. They don’t reflect the actual financial loss incurred by the landlord due to late rent. South African law prioritises that landlords recover their actual losses, which can be achieved through:

  • Interest: Charging a reasonable interest rate on the late payment.
  • Legal Costs: Recovering legal fees if you have to take legal action to collect the rent.

The Takeaway
While late rent can be frustrating for landlords, it’s important to follow the legalities outlined in the Rental Housing Regulations. Instead of including a penalty clause, consider incorporating an interest rate clause in your lease agreement. This ensures you recover your losses in a way that complies with the law.

If you’re a landlord facing late rent payments, SSLR Attorneys can advise you on the best course of action to recover your losses while adhering to the law. Contact us today for a consultation.

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