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Lease agreements and Legislation

Until recently the relationship between landlord and tenant in Namibia was more or less regulated by the Rents Ordinance No. 13/1977, which provided inter alia for the establishment of Rent Boards. This Ordinance regulated the relationship between landlord and tenant and the Boards were empowered to investigate any complaint and to consider possible applications for the increase or decrease of rent by any lessor or lessee. The Ordinance applied to all lease agreements, whether to business premises or to dwellings. The Ordinance however provided in Article 35 thereof that the provisions thereof would not apply to any dwelling situated in an area for which no Rent Board has been established.

After 1991, all Rent Boards ceased to function and consequently, the Rents Ordinance has lost its power and, although it still exists, it is only applicable to business premises. In case of lease of a business premise, the rent ordinance has specifications that must be followed strictly regarding the notice period which can only be amended by separate addendum to the lease agreement. This differs substantially from notice periods of ordinary residential properties.

Today the Common Law, which allows full freedom of contract, is the basis for Landlord and Tenant relations and for a lease agreement the basic contractual formalities are applicable when you draw up the lease agreement in writing.