Western Cape Rental Housing Tribunal celebrates 20 years
The Western Cape Minister of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers says today’s 20- year celebration of the Rental Housing Tribunal (RHT) clearly demonstrates the significant role they’ve played over the years in ensuring that conflict between landlords and tenants are resolved.
Established in 2000 and seeking to harmonise the relationship between landlords and tenants, the RHT team provides a free service to legally resolve disputes that arise between the parties. The Appointed Members are assisted by Support Staff of the Department of Human Settlements. The type of disputes includes, for example:
- Failure to refund deposit
- Unlawful notice to vacate
- Exorbitant increase in rental
- Failure to accept notice
- Failure to provide municipal services
- Failure to pay rental
- Failure to do maintenance
- Unlawful eviction / illegal lockout
- Unlawful seizure of possessions
The Rental Housing Tribunal is a statutory body established in terms of section 7 of the Rental Housing Act 50 of 1999. Per the Act, the tribunal consists of 5 Members, plus 2 Alternate Members, appointed by the Provincial Minister of Human Settlements.
Minister Simmers said: “The RHT must be commended for being steadfast in their mission to assist both landlords and tenants. They serve as an important instrument in resolving matters between landlords and tenants. We cannot pass the opportunity to celebrate what they’ve achieved over the past 20 years.
We are a Department that believes in incorporating innovation and uitilising the latest technology and for this reason, I’m pleased to inform you today that the very first RHT web and mobile app solution, which forms part of the Western Cape Government (WCG) e-Service Portal has been launched. This solution will enable citizens to register and track a complaint online. Along with this and as we kick-off our 20-year celebration, we are extremely proud and excited to also launch RHT Online to Western Cape residents.
I’d therefore like to encourage all residents, both landlords and tenants who might be in need of the services of the Tribunal, to use it, particularly since it is a free service.”
Chairperson of the RHT, Mr Lionel Esterhuizen said: “Going forward the Tribunal wants to expand its services to be more active outside the metropolitan area and among the lower income sector of the rental market.”
For the past 20 years, the RHT has assisted over 35 000 tenants and landlords to settle disputes. The growth of cases reported over this period is summarised below:
- 2001 to 2005 - over 1000 cases
- 2005 to 2010 - over 5 000
- 2010 to 2015 - over 14 000
- 2015 to 2020 - over 16 000
At this stage, the Rental Housing Tribunal can be contacted as follows:
Monday to Friday 08h00 – 16h00