Renting Shacks: Tenancy in the informal housing sector of the Gauteng Province, South Africa

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Abstract

Informal settlements are where a significant proportion of urban population find shelter in the cities of the Global South. In some cities, this settlement type is the norm and urban residence are forced into these areas due to a lack of formal housing capacity. Housing tenure in the informal sector is tenuous and the most vulnerable of this group are those who find rental housing in the sector. The idea of a slumlord within this context is one of exploitation and abuse, this study explores the slumlord tenant relationship within informal settlements in Gauteng, South Africa. The study found that there is a symbiotic relationship between landlords and tenants where the informal economy fills a gap in the low income market. While there are issues of exploitation within the informal rental market, this large, unregulated and growing sector points to a significant need for more low cost housing within the formal sector.

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