It’s a challenging time for South Africans at the moment, as we continue to live under strict lockdown regulations. And, all the news about the COVID-1919 pandemic has left many tenants feeling uneasy during this time. As it is, tenants are stressed as many people’s jobs are on the line.  During this time, you must know what your options, and rules are when it comes to renting a flat in lockdown. So, read our rental advice article below to ensure you know exactly what your rental opportunities are and what is expected of you during this uncertain time. 

Make your rental payments on time 

One of the biggest issues at the moment is finances. Many individuals are strapped for cash as the economy takes a plunge and businesses suffer because of the virus. However, the collection of rent is still important, and you are still required to make your rental payment. The landlord should still get their rent on the agreed date every month unless you and your landlord have made prior arrangements. If you know you are having difficulties making ends meet at the moment, you need to discuss this with your landlord. This discussion needs to happen before the payment date arrives and not on the day. Talking to your landlord on the day you were supposed to make payment will not be a good reflection of you as a tenant. This is a stressful time for everyone so consideration is key, let your landlord know before time so that you both can come to an agreement. 

Failure to make a payment has consequences 

The minister passed a Government Gazzette that places a moratorium on eviction orders for the duration of the national lockdown. This means landlords are not allowed to evict tenants during the lockdown. However, although you cannot get evicted during the lockdown, a landlord still has the right to evict you once the lockdown has been lifted. This will also depend on the terms of your lease; however, there still will be consequences for not meeting your payment arrangement.  It’s also important to note that being evicted from a rental property can have a negative impact on your credit score. An eviction can have an unfavourable impact if the landlord obtains a debt judgement under your name. This will show other real estate agents in Johannesburg that you’re not trustworthy, lowering your chances of getting a new lease. More importantly, if you have a bad judgement on your credit score, this may prevent you from getting a home loan in the future should you decide on buying property. 

Keep in contact with your landlord 

It’s important to be transparent, especially when it has to do with money. Make sure you keep in contact with your landlord and inform them of any financial changes that are happening to you because of the lockdown. This can be anything from a pay cut to working shorter times or losing your job. Keeping in contact with your landlord will help to strengthen your relationship, as it is built on transparency. 

Make sure you follow the regulations 

Landlords aren’t there to keep an eye on you every minute of the day, so make sure you follow the rules of the lockdown. Avoid larger gatherings in the complex or inviting guests over to your flat. Social distancing needs to be practised as much as possible. Wash your hands and disinfect your space frequently. If you have a roommate, it may be best to spend time in your room alone, rather than a common area. Lastly, make sure you and your roommate are on the same page, and both make an effort to clean and wash your hands, especially if you had been outside. 

Final thoughts 

Following the rules will ensure you still have a place to stay even during uncertain times. The COVID-19 pandemic has also shown the importance of finding affordable flats that fit into your budget. A flat that is with your price ranger or lower allows you the peace of mind even in uncertain times as you can still cover rent. That is a rental tip that should be used by every tenant, even post-pandemic. So, make sure you stay safe and consider finding an affordable place to stay. 

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