t's every landlord’s nightmare: come the first of the month, the tenants haven’t paid their dues (or short pay), thereby side-stepping reminders and, once you finally reach them, they’re full of creative excuses. So you’re left at their mercy, to do the right thing when they feel like it, because threats of penalties and even eviction don’t startle them. Some will simply squat and bear the embarrassment and discomfort. After all, evictions take a while and a free roof is well on the house.
There are always two sides to a story: for every terrible tenant, there’s a loathsome landlord who shirks his maintenance responsibilities, invades privacy, takes liberties, tramples on tenant rights and then fails to pay back the deposit. For tenants, crunch time usually comes when you need urgent work done or you’re about to move out but have a hunch that your deposit won’t be refunded so you withhold rent for the final month and brace yourself for the inevitable fallout.
And then there’s the agent - the smooth-talker who just wants to clinch the deal and walk away. Much like the agent who told a reader from Sea Point that they could pay on the second, set up the debit order for that date but then penalised them R350 for a day’s late payment; plus, he was promised parking for his own private use, only for the complex to threaten him with towing his car away.
Managing agents take some pressure off the landlord but, if the tenant is not incentivised to do the right thing, they don’t do much more than send threatening mails and letters of demand. FULL ARTICLE