Who should the Landlord or Agent get to sign the lease agreement?
When in doubt as far as signatures to a lease agreement are concerned, more is always more. The more people that are signatories to an agreement, the more people can be held liable for rental and ancillary expenses. There is no legal rule precluding a Landlord from insisting that a parent or guardian , for example, co-signs the lease agreement with a student-tenant.
Similarly, surety agreements are not only used in the commercial property realm. In the case where a company leases a property for occupation by an employee, it is advisable that the occupant be made a party to the lease agreement or sign a surety document, concurrently binding him for payment. Surety agreements are especially handy when issuing a summons against the Tenant for non-payment of rental while serving the same summons on the surety. The response is usually affirmative and economically beneficial.
For better or for worse…
Our two main tenant focus groups here are spouses and students. Newly-wed couples often look for rental property as their first accommodation together. Agents usually call us at this time to ask which of the spouses must sign the agreement, more notably so, when the couple is married out of community of property. Again, insist that both spouses sign, even though only one of the spouses may be economically inclined to sign the document. Having both spouses as signatories on the lease agreement leads to better security for rental payments and other obligations. Student accommodation can be a great investment, provided the lease agreement is well drafted. The inclination of the student to pay late decreases as soon as a parent/guardian co-signs the lease agreement with the student as is conclusively proven by statistics. The importance of concurrent signature cannot be overstated to significantly improve the chances for payment, month-in and month-out. The TPN Student Lease Agreement in the LeasePack, has already been drafted to include a parent/guardian as co-tenant and we suggest that this document be used, should you not have a tailor-made solution.
Late or non-payment of rental and ancillary expenses is an inherent risk to any rental property investment. Protect yourself or the landlord by insisting on co-signatories or a surety. Never overlook the necessity of binding another party jointly for payments in terms of the agreement, simply because a party may appear to be a low risk on face value. This oversight may just be the difference between successful tenancy and fruitless property investment. Kindly call us for any queries or property advice and as always #HappyRenting.
At the forefront of consumer protection law in South Africa is the Consumer Protection Act (the “CPA”). Section 14 of the CPA is of particular importance to the landlord-tenant relationship, but it may not always be clear if such...