The best ways to avoid risk when renting

No rental agreement is without risk; however, this does not mean that rentals do not offer lucrative opportunities for all parties involved.

According to Stefan du Plessis, managing member at Rent Protect, a niche product provider that offers protection on rental income, there are certain best practice principles that help all parties avoid the typical risks associated with rental agreements.

“The absolute foundation that ensures the protection of your rights, whether you are a tenant, rental agent or property owner, is a balanced and iron clad rental agreement. This is particularly important for tenants who are often not completely aware of their rights.

“The next essential element for tenants is to make sure that they establish a good working relationship with the rental agent and/or landlord. This is an investment in their own reputation because good tenants get first pick when new properties come up for rent. Good tenants also get some leeway when times take an unexpected turn for the worst,” says du Plessis.

Always stuck in the middle are managing rental agents. Risks can infiltrate from both sides. Defaulting tenants, property damage, unhappy clients and legal procedures are a few of the many challenges property managers face. At the end of the day, the most successful property management companies, commercial or residential, need to engage with service providers that not only offer them protection, but create a better service offering for their clients. Tenant vetting services and rental insurers are a few examples of companies that can improve a rental agency’s client offering.

The group with the most too lose from an investment point of view is property owners. Du Plessis adds “Whether the property owner chooses to manage their property themselves or make use of an agency, the pitfalls still need to be negotiated. It’s a necessity to make sure that your rental agreement is reviewed by an experienced and qualified property lawyer. Legislation is complex and shrouded in jargon, so if your agreement is not up to scratch, as a property owner, you are shooting yourself in the foot.”

Du Plessis also advises that property owners who decide to engage with a rental agent need to make sure that they are dealing with a legitimate service provider. A Fidelity Fund Certificate is a must. A great rental agent not only has the standard NQ4 and NQ5 qualifications, but is familiar with the in’s and out’s of the Rental Housing Act and the inner workings of various rental housing tribunals.


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Taryn O’Brien

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About Rent Protect:

Rent Protect offers rental insurance to the local rental market. Whether you are a property owner, estate agent, property management company or a tenant, we can guarantee your rent will be secured. Rent Protect will pay out the rental amount you need for up to three months. The cover is affordable and a must have for those wanting to secure their monthly rental income. We also offer our clients legal advice and administration when it comes to costly litigation and/or eviction procedures. For more information please visit

Property Investors Need To Be Wary

Residential property investors need to be wary as tenants face tough economic conditions

South Africans breathed a sigh of relieved when the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) announced that the Repo Rate was going to stay at seven percent1.

However, property investors still need to be vigilant when it comes to not only managing their rental income, but have to take steps to maintain it. Stefan du Plessis, Business Head at Rent Protect, an innovative insurance company that offers rental income protection says, “When it comes to managing personal financials people can generally follow a ‘rule of thirds.

Approximately 30 percent of an individual’s monthly budget should be allocated to housing, 20 percent to their transport expenses and the reminding 50 percent to their cost of living, such as school fees, groceries, and savings to name a few.”

Mr du Plessis believes that the weak Rand and the additional economic pressures such as the prolonged drought are driving up the cost of living to a point where consumers and therefore, tenants, are having a tough time prioritising and changing their spending habits.

According to the last Old Mutual Savings & Investment Monitor, only 46 percent of those employed in major metropolitan areas actually have a personal budget, even less have a household budget in place. The report also revealed that 2016 has been the worst year for personal saving since the 2008/9 global economic crisis2.

TPN’s latest residential payment monitor shows that one in ten tenants default on their rental payments which obviously has a knock-on effect on property owners/landlords and managing agents3.

“Essentially tenants are now in a position where they are forced to either make tough lifestyle choices or juggle debt as they try to keep their heads above water,” du Plessis observes. “Some defaults can be explained to poor financial planning, but there are unforeseen circumstances that can leave a good tenant in a tight squeeze. No one can control retrenchments or illness and these instances are tragic, most parties involved want to avoid a lengthy and expensive eviction process.”

As any good investor knows, nothing is risk free, but du Plessis believes that this does not mean tenants; property owners and managers cannot take steps to protect themselves. For tenants, the first step is drawing up a budget that highlights principle expenses like housing and saving. Landlords and property managers should do extensive credit checks on potential new tenants. There are also insurance based safeguards such as unemployment and health insurance offerings and rental insurance options.




We also offer our clients legal advice and administration when it comes to costly litigation and/or eviction procedures. For more information please visit our home page

What to do when Your Tenant is not Paying Rent

What to do when a Tenant is not Paying Rent

If you speak to any property owner or managing agent with a new or established rental book, their greatest concern will be, “the tenant is not paying their rent.” There are steps that can be taken when dealing with a defaulting tenant before calling in legal assistance which can be expensive and time consuming.

What to do:

  1. Call the tenant immediately and ask for payment. If the tenant has problems, a later payment date may be agreed to, but there is no obligation to do so
  2. If payment is not made into the agent’s or the landlord’s account on the agreed date, a written breach of contract letter must be sent immediately. The letter needs to say that the tenant has seven days to remedy the default. This is normally stipulated in the lease agreement
  3. The breach of contract letter should note the landlord/managing agent’s intention to report the payment default to the credit bureaux should the account not be settled within the seven day period. This letter is normally sent by a registered debt collector
  4. Property owners/managers or debt collectors are entitled to register a default record against the tenant 20 business days after the letter of demand has been sent
  5. If the tenant fails to make payment within seven days after the breach of contract letter was sent, a written notice needs to be sent, it has to clearly state that the lease agreement is cancelled, and demand the tenant vacate the property
  6. If the tenant still fails to leave the property or disputes the cancellation of the lease agreement, there will be no choice but to call in legal assistance and to proceed with an eviction order

Rent Protect offers financial protection, guaranteeing a monthly rental income from a defaulting tenant up to R50 000, and up to R75 000 in litigation assistance.

Rent Protect’s cover is a affordable must have for all wanting to secure their monthly rental income to eliminate unnecessary angst. Invest in your peace of mind with Rent Protect.

Interested? For more information click here

Property Rental Insurance for Estate Agents and Landlords

Rent Protect Launches Property Rental Insurance

for Landlords and Estate Agencies

Rent Protect provides property rental insurance to the South African market, offering landlords and estate agents a service which guarantees their monthly rental income despite defaulting tenants.

Although many believe that they are on their own when dealing with a delinquent tenant, there are ways to protect your investment and revenue stream. Rent Protect is also available to tenants who wish to secure their future in uncertain economic times.

“Rent Protect offers tangible rental insurance to tenants, landlords and estate agents,” says Stefan du Plessis, Managing Member at Rent Protect. “We cover up to three months rent up to the value of R50 000, and up to R75 000 in legal assistance.”

Interested? Apply for cover here

Rent Protect is fully compliant with the Consumer Protection Act and is also available to all vetted tenants with a valid lease agreement.

du Plessis adds, “Estate agents will also benefit from Rent Protect because we cover all residential rental properties within the groups’ portfolio, inclusive of legal assistance. Your business can now guarantee your client’s rental income, further securing market share and strengthening your competitive position. Estate agents and landlords simply need to contact Rent Protect and provide us with the required rental property details in order to qualify for cover.

“Rent Protect’s property rental insurance will give landlords and estate agents peace of mind, especially in the current economic climate.”

du Plessis concludes, “We truly believe that we can positively impact the rental market by providing our clients with great value for money and of course the monthly rent.”

Apply for rental insurance cover here

For further information about Rent Protect,

visit or Tel: 086 055 5227