Are you struggling to pay your rent?
Realising that you can’t afford to pay our landlord is a terrifying thing. The consequences can be severe, and if the situation is handled poorly, it could mean winding up on the street.
Here is some information that will help you get through this. Go through this post to learn what your rights are and what options are available to you, and take action to secure a roof over your head.
Let’s start with your rights.
If you can’t pay your rent and are afraid that you’ll get evicted, keep these rights in mind:
As you can see, tenants have rights that protect them from unfair landlords, but landlords have rights too…
Yes, there is no legal privilege for South Africans that cannot pay their rent and any landlords that obtain a court order and follow the proper eviction procedure in South Africa have the right to evict tenants.
Tenants have to do their part and fulfil a number of obligations while renting a property. Here are tenant’s obligations:
Okay, so we’ve covered your rights and your obligations, now let’s look at what you can do if you can’t pay your rent in South Africa.
Here is a list of things that you can do to save yourself from eviction:
Approach the Rental Housing Tribunal
Be open, and let your landlord know that you’re having difficulty paying rent. Explain why, what you’re doing about it, and negotiate a payment plan.
Suggest a rental cost that you can afford, give your landlord a timeline, and include how you will repay what you’ll owe. Remember, your landlord is entitled to the full rental amount, so make your offer attractive so that they’ll agree.
You might not be able to pay your current rent, but a cheaper unit might still be affordable. So hop online and start seeing what other houses or apartments are available in your area.
You might have to downgrade significantly, but it is better than getting evicted and ending up on the street.
Debt review can help reduce your monthly debt repayment amount. The process takes your income, total debt, and cost of living into account and reduces your monthly debt instalment to make everything affordable again.
Anyone that can afford to talk to a lawyer could benefit from seeking out professional legal advice. A lawyer could look at the rental agreement and recommend the best possible course of action.
If you qualify, then the following South African government organisations can help you to cover your rent by providing subsidies, loans, or financial support.
The Tribunal is a court that handles disputes between tenants and landlords, which means that they can rule in your favour or in your landlords favour.
If your landlord is doing something wrong, then the tribunal court can help protect you and settle the dispute.
Bonus: see if you can start a side hustle in South Africa to earn more so you can afford your rent.
Don’t lose hope, you have options, and with enough persistence and resourcefulness — you can get through it.
Remember that debt review could help you to reduce your monthly debt instalment so that you can allocate more of your income towards rent — try our free assessment to see if you qualify, we’d love to help.
Find out if you’re eligible to reduce your debt and protect your belongings.
Disclaimer: This website and any information herein is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, financial, tax, legal, investment, credit, or other advice. Before making any decision or taking any action regarding your finances, you should consult a qualified professional directly.