Vetting is the process of performing a background check on, in this circumstance, a tenant before conferring on them the right to occupy a premises.
Large property companies, estate agents and the occasional private landlord need this process to keep the bad tenants out and the paying, well-mannered ones in. Even though most legal vetting processes do not disclose the tenants personal characteristics, shoe size and music preference they do provide an insight into the tenant’s financial and credit background and therefore a tenant’s tendency to skip payments or pay late. Some searches disclose whether judgment has been taken against the tenant and what immovable property is currently registered in the tenant’s name.
A simple vetting process can be a simple way to save all landlords from heartbreak and headache. Larger property companies and agents usually make use of an in-house checking process that involves multiple searches and subscriptions. For the not so advanced the enlistment of attorneys to vet and scan tenants after drafting of lease agreements has also become practice.
We cannot stress enough the importance of keeping quality tenants in the premises and keeping the bad seeds out. A vetting procedure used in conjunction with a water tight lease and reliable and up to date invoicing and administration can lead the small property guppy from small fry to fundi.
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 provisions are afforded to the tenant...