The Rental Housing Amendment Act No. 35 of 2014 was promulgated to address a number of the shortfalls of the Rental Housing Act No. 50 of 1999 which - along with Common Law, and the Consumer Protection Act - regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants, and provides for dispute resolution by the Rental Housing Tribunal.
In order to further protect the rights of the landlord and the tenant the Amendment creates new offences which are punishable by law with landlords facing the possibility of a fine or prison. These infringements include:
- Not issuing a written rental agreement
- Failure to provide a habitable dwelling
- Failure to maintain the property
- Failure to repay the deposit and accrued interest
- Cutting utilities
- Locking the tenant out of the property
However in the recent case of Kondile v Canary and Another (29896/2013)  ZAGPPHC 412, which had an application to have a Rental Housing Tribunal ruling rescinded or overturned by the High Court, acting Judge Nel confirmed that ‘on 5 November 2014 the Rental Housing Amendment Act, No. 35 of 2014 ("the Amendment Act") was assented to, but it has not yet come into force, as it has not been promulgated.’
As emphasised in a commentary on the TPN Blog any references to the Rental Housing Amendment Act in lease agreements currently would therefore be incorrect in law. Unfortunately it also looks like it could be a while before the Amendments come into force.