Does your landlord have to provide alternate power sources during load shedding?

The question of who is responsible for ensuring properties have backup power and water has arisen since the current load shedding and load shedding issues in our country.

Roof of a residential building/Pexels

Amid the national hurdles of load shedding and load shedding issues that have bombarded South Africans, a key landlord and tenant issue has emerged (ironically).

Are landlords legally required to provide an uninterrupted supply of utilities if their tenants ask them to?

And if so, who is responsible for covering the costs of these arrangements?

Read more: Ongoing outages will continue this week

The question is quite valid and indeed welcome. Since more and more people are finding other ways to deal with power and water outages.

We are noticing that more and more homeowners are installing solar powered lights, as well as water tanks to collect natural water, which comes in handy when the water is off.

According to the credit bureau, “The first thing tenants need to understand about load shedding and water restrictions or shutoffs is that these are not the fault of the landlord. Accordingly, tenants cannot seek a rent rebate from their landlord. Nor are landlords legally required to provide generators, inverters, or water tanks.” (business technology)

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One of the main reasons to add a generator to your property as a homeowner is the added value it provides, but what about the cost factor of running a generator?

It will therefore be the responsibility of the tenant if he chooses to add a generator, an inverter or a water tank.

Once it has been installed on the rental property, whether residential or commercial, it becomes an accessory to the property and the landlord will own it.

The tenant is advised to agree with their landlord before installing anything or at least consider reviewing their rental agreement before making any permanent changes to the property.

“Both parties can agree on who is responsible for the costs of installing, maintaining, insuring and operating a generator, inverter or water tank and who owns these devices as a last resort. It is highly recommended to write an addendum to avoid ambiguity and unnecessary costs at a later stage.” (business technology)

Items such as maintenance, operating costs and any legal electrical compliance certificates during installation must be specified in the addendum to avoid any disputes.

If the landlord provides an alternative power supply, the tenant may be responsible for the costs of running the generator, which includes maintenance, insurance, and compliance certification.

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Rosemary C. Kearney