The Landlord and Tenant Act needs to be amended so as to give the landlord some level of protection by the law. The landlord is left to the mercy of the tennant, some of whom are unreasonable and dishonest.
I do not know in what year an amendment was made, but while I agree that any tenant must be protected, so too must be the landlord. Many of whom have invested millions of dollars on houses, rent to tenants so as to have a monthly income and in some instances have a mortgage to pay.
Let’s put it this way- a person approaches you, the landlord, very politely and discuss the rental of a house or apartment. The couple may have infant or small children accompanying them and after discussions and inspections of the premises, an agreement oral or written by the parties is reached, a decision that at times is influenced by the presence of those little children.
You the landlord hands over the keys to the tenant, without any notice by a lawyer the intervention of the court, or appearance by the bailiff through any order made by the court and in most cases, the said night your tenant occupies that premises.
The agreed sum is paid as per agreement but only for a few months, and thereafter you hear a lot of sad or hanky panky stories. Your tenant may start to behave in a hostile manner towards you when you ask for your rent.
The law as it is would require you have to serve a notice for possession of the property and at the expiration of that notice, which is a thirty days’ notice, then and only then you can summons for whatever rent is outstanding. The summons for possession and rent owed is applied for and served on the defendant (the tenant) who may appear in court represented by his or her lawyer. The court gives time for the defendant to file a defence.
In the meantime the rent goes up. After a few appearances the court awards judgment by consent and grant the defendant time to pay the outstanding sum and to vacate the building. That time can be three months or more and can be extended by the discretion of the Magistrate. The months go by without the tenant paying, then, move out during the cover of darkness.
A judgment summons can be applied for and when obtained has to be served personally on the defendant who would evade service of same.
This Landlord and Tenant Act is archaic and designed to frustrate the landlord. Imagine those small children that your tenant had accompanying them, and had greatly influenced the Landlord’s decision to rent to those defendants. Those same children the defendant through his/her lawyer would influence the court’s decision.
Make no mistake there are some unreasonable landlords and the tenant must be offered protection by law, but so too must be the landlord after about an hour discussion, and an agreement oral or written the tenant moves in, but to move out after they would have defaulted in many ways it takes months of court battle and hefty sums paid to you, the plaintiff’s lawyer by you the landlord; sometimes you never get your money (rent).
I was told by a senior Counsel that during the colonial years, the rich used to build houses and rent to the poor, who were at times exploited in many ways, so the framers of the law offered the tenant massive coverage. But things have changed. Now you have people renting houses and apartments to persons who financial status is sound or better, than them (the landlord).
Archie W. Cordis
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