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Q: I am a new landlord and was thinking of not asking for a rental deposit to help tenants.

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What is its main purpose?

A: A rental deposit exists largely to protect the landlord against defaulting tenants and the lengthy, expensive process that is involved to evict them.

If the correct eviction procedures are followed, it can take eight to 10 weeks for an eviction order to be granted, during which time the landlord is out of pocket.

Besides the fact that the landlord is not getting a rental income from the defaulting tenant during that period, they will also have to pay legal costs.

An unopposed eviction could cost between R12 000 and R20 000 in legal costs plus disbursements, while the cost of an opposed matter will be substantially more. – Adrian Goslett, chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa

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