The law requires the tenant and the landlord to inspect the property at the beginning of the lease and also at the end of the lease.
The owner/landlord is obliged to supply a property that is well maintained and that has functioning equipment/fixtures which are necessary for reasonable living standards. The tenant must deliver the property to the owner, on termination of the lease, in the condition that it was in when he took occupation.
Running Costs and Maintenance of the property.
The owner is obliged to pay the rates and taxes imposed by the local authority, as well as any levies when renting out a sectional title property or a property in a security estate. He is also responsible for the maintenance of the building structure (including the electrical and plumbing systems) and for the continued functioning of equipment and fixtures that are of basic need for reasonable and agreed upon living standards, such as the geyser, stove, light fittings and switches, pumps and motors, etc. As long as the repairs are not as a direct result of the tenant's negligence, it is for the owner's account. This should be specified in your lease agreement. If it has not been specified in agreement and issues arise, they will need to be negotiated between the landlord and ant at the time of need. If the owner/landlord does not maintain things in accordance with the terms of the agreement, the tenant will need to lodge a complaint with the Rental Housing Tribunal.
The tenant is responsible for his personal living expenses (such as water, electricity and/or gas refuse removal, telecommunications, etc). General "wear and tear" of equipment components (such as light bulbs, tap washers, filters and all sorts of consumables that deteriorate as a result of the tenant's use thereof) are for the tenant's account, as well as any damage caused to the property due to negligence on the tenant's part.
The tenant is liable for maintaining the garden, swimming pool, fish pond, tennis court and such fixtures. Any permanent fixtures that the tenant installs during the lease period (even if he aids for the items himself) will generally be deemed to belong with the property at the end of the term unless specifically specified in the agreement. Make sure that, if you want to take your window blinds or curtain rails or ceiling fan or television dish with you when you leave... that you specify so in the agreement. It is highly advisable for the owner to take out insurance on the structure of the dwelling (regardless of whether the property is still bonded) as well as on equipment and fixtures that are necessary for the dwelling to remain in a livable condition. A tenant only needs to insure his personal belongings.
The Body Corporate or HOA and the Levies
If you are renting in a sectional title building, there will be a body corporate which runs the scheme and a Home Owner's Association. This means that there will be monthly levies which go towards maintaining the buildings and grounds and things like 24-hour security. If the body corporate was, for example, to install a new surveillance system which required them to hire a security guard this cost would be worked into the levies and may increase the monthly amount payable.
Body corporate levies can also increase according to what needs maintaining in the block for example If the block had a communal swimming pool that suddenly sprung a leak, the corporate may charge a "special levy" to occupants in order to have this fixed. Special levies are usually a once off payment.
As with municipal bills, changes in the levy amount are determined by the body corporate and not by the landlord, therefore, the landlord has no control over these increases. Your lease must stipulate whether the landlord or tenant is responsible for the body corporate levies. This is something that needs to be determined between the landlord and the tenant.