WC Rental Tribunal says it doesn't take sides in tenant-landlord disputes
The Western Cape Rental Housing Tribunal is adamant that it remains neutral when resolving disputes.
The tribunal is a free service that exists to settle disputes between tenants and landlords in the province.
It falls under the ambit of the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements.
The department's Nathan Adriaanse explains that typical complaints include unfair evictions, withheld rental deposits or exorbitant rental increases.
'WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR'
Adriaanse responds to claims that the tribunal operates unfairly or fraudulently by outlining how the system works.
He explains that case officers first try to mediate between two parties once a formal complaint is lodged.
If mediation fails, the case is taken before an independent panel for a hearing.
Adriaanse says the panel operates independently from the department and adjudicates without favouring either of the parties involved.
We don't favour any particular party whether it be the landlord or the tenant.Nathan Adriaanse, WC Human Settlements’ Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
We want to harmonise relationships between landlords and tenants.Nathan Adriaanse, WC Human Settlements’ Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Because there is an independent panel, as the Department of Human Settlements we don't have any interest in who the ruling is for or against.Nathan Adriaanse, WC Human Settlements’ Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
The tribunal does not advocate for any party, be that landlords, agents or tenants. A complaint is lodged and we are impartial in how we deal with it.Nathan Adriaanse, WC Human Settlements’ Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations
At the same time, property attorney Marlon Shevelew says the tribunal _does _appear to favour tenants because of how the Rental Housing Act and Consumer Protection Act is structured.
Shevelew explains the rights of landlords and tenants and what the law says.
Listen to the discussion on Today with Kieno Kammies:
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