Is a landlord obliged to upgrade the leased property to ensure that the tenant can live comfortably and conveniently through loadshedding? Landlords have many obligations in terms of lease agreements with regard to the property being leased, for both residential and commercial properties. However, installing a water tank or grey system, generator or inverter, solar panels or solar geyser is not one of them.
Although landlords are not legally obliged to install a generator/inverter, they may want to consider the “value add” of installing the same to their property as not only would this be an investment in the property making it more appealing to a prospective tenant, it would also entitle the landlord to ask a higher rental for same.
With the excessive loadshedding currently being experienced throughout South Africa, one can understand the desperate need for the installation of a generator/inverter. But then the question must be asked: who is liable for the costs of installing, running and maintaining the generator/inverter?
In the event of a tenant requesting the landlord to install a generator or inverter, and the landlord agrees to same, an agreement will need to be reached between the landlord and the tenant as to who will be liable for the running costs (such as diesel for a generator), the maintenance costs (when a part needs to be repaired or replaced) and the insurance cost of the item (in the event of damage or fire). This will need to be incorporated into an Addendum to the lease, signed by both parties to ensure clarity on who is liable for what going forward.
Likewise, in the event of a landlord not agreeing to install a generator or inverter at his cost, but consenting to the tenant installing the same on the property, an agreement confirming that the tenant will be liable for all maintenance & running costs, including the removal of equipment at the end of the lease and the related costs of restoring the property to the condition prior to such installation (if any), will need to be agreed to and incorporated into an Addendum signed by both parties.
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