Do rental agents have the right to demand work permits from tenants?

It was reported that television star, Bonnie Mbuli was thrown out of her rented home in Cape Town because her nanny didn’t have a work permit.

Mbuli has since reported the matter to the Rental Housing Tribunal and also laid a criminal charge of intimidation against the rental agency, Houses4Rent.

Africa Melane standing in for John Maytham speaks to Igshaan Higgins, Attorney at De Klerk & Van Gend Attorneys to find out whether rental agents have the right to demand work permits from their tenants.

Its quiet strange that the rental housing act doesn’t make provision for that type of inquiry but it is definitely a law that makes the actions of the landlord legal or of the rental agency.

Igshaan Higgins, Attorney

Higgins says that in terms of the immigration act, there’s a provision that deals with aiding and abetting foreign nationals. The regulation states that you can’t aid or harbour a foreigner, he says.

According to Higgins, the landlord is protected and was correct to make the inquiry, according to law.

Higgins further said that if it is found that the foreigner is involved in criminal activities, the tenant could face serious jail time.

Mbuli's agent, Marc Lunau from Houses4Rent also called in to give his side of the story, listen below:

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