Consumer help: estate and rental agents

Guidelines for renting, buying or selling property through an estate agent, how to protect your interests when doing so, and what you can do if things go wrong.

Real estate
We profile the organisations that can help you in real estate. (Image: Brand South Africa)

Brand South Africa reporter

Estate Agency Affairs Board

A body established by the government to protect your interests when you buy and sell property through an estate agent. All agents have to register with the board, and must comply with the board’s code of conduct. Agents are issued with an annual fidelity fund certificate, which they should display. You can check with the board whether the agent is registered or not.

You can also complain against an estate agent whom you suspect has violated either the law or the code of conduct governing the industry.

You are entitled to claim repayment from the board’s fidelity fund if an estate agent has stolen or mismanaged your money. Their website includes a wealth of related information and resources, such as guides for property buyers and guidelines for estate agents.

Rental Housing Tribunals

If you have a problem with your landlord, you should approach the Rental Housing Tribunal in your province.

Rental Housing Tribunals are independent bodies appointed by the Provincial Housing Minister to ensure stability in rental housing market and resolve disputes between landlords and tenants. These include problems with unfair practices such as the refunding of deposits, privacy, overcrowding, exploitative rentals, maintenance and repairs and illegal lockout or disconnection of services.

Offices comprise three to five member who have expertise in housing management, housing development, and consumer matters relating to rental housing.

The tribunals have the authority to arrange mediations or to subpoena parties to a hearing. Rulings by the tribunal are deemed to be judgments of a magistrate’s court.

Rental Housing Tribunals operate on a provincial basis, generally falling under the Human Settlements department. See the Department of Human Settlements’ website.

Or contact:

Originally published 24 April 2002
Reviewed 12 July 2012

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.