Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to KwaZulu-Natal
Question value: R 200.00
My husband and I moved into the above-mention property on the 28th September 2013, wemoved in with our son who was 3 years old at the time and I was 5 months pregnant. A Depositof R5000 was paid on the request. Upon arrival we signed a standard lease agreement(purchased at CNA) for 1 year and we have not received a new lease agreement to date.We ran into some financial difficulties during the year of 2017 and we were unable to pay rentin full. The landlord advised that for every month the rental is late we will need to pay an extraR500 for interest which we did (during this time we also got a 10% increase), by April 2018we had fully paid all arrears and were up to date with the rent. We get a 10% increase annuallyand the landlord informs my husband verbally 30days before. This was not discussed oragreed prior to us moving in.In May 2016 my son was using the kitchen tap and was unable to close it due to a tap defect,as a result he flooded the kitchen and most of the kitchen cupboards were damaged. I was awork and my husband was out – when my husband returned, he closed the damaged tap andcleaned up the place. Within a few weeks of this, my husband had to replace the tap becauseof the defect. We agreed to repair the damages to the kitchen due to good faith on our behalf,we have started the process and have since had a change of mind and would like your inputin the matter and we feel that this was not done intentionally/negligence and was not ourentirely our fault.
During an inspection in August 2019 the landlord and my husband noted the followingdamaged to the property:• 1 x entrance tile is cracked – Our account – In progress• 2 x Bedroom doors need replacing – Our account – Done• 1 x Bathroom door needs replacing – Our account – Done• 1 x door reveal broken – Our account – Done• 1 x kids room needs painting – Our account - Done• 1 x kitchen blinds needs replacing – Our account – I progress• Kitchen built-ins needs replacing – We agreed to replace – in Progress• Walls are cracked – Landlord
• Downstairs has no lights – Landlord• A few tiles are cracked – Landlord• 2 x walls are water damaged – Landlord• 1 x 2 plate stove to be replaced – Our account – In progress• About 7 windows hinges are broken – LandlordIn the 6years that we have been renting from this property the landlord has repaired the geyserwhich was done in October 2019. We have had no lights down stairs (which is the kitchen,lounge and bathroom) since August 2019. The swimming pool which is on our doorstep ismaintained by my husband. If my husband doesn’t clean it then it is left dirty to the point thatthere are insects flying above the water. On a few occasions my husband has repairedwashing lines, taps and done general maintenance as we understand we are occupying thespace. All incidents are reported to the landlord but nothing gets done.On 19th September 2019 our cleaning lady at the time had apparently asked the landlord to enter the cottage to view the mess we had left. They entered and did an inspection withoutour consent. They called us in for a meeting that evening. We explained to them that havingdirty clothes on the floor is really not their business as this does not affect the structure of theirproperty. They then went on to tell us how it’s not acceptable.On the 18th December 2019 my husband sent photos to the landlord of the new doors, repairedwalls and advised that some of the kitchen built-ins have ordered and paid for but we willcollect it in the year as we were in Johannesburg visiting my parents for the festive season.They sent a very rude WhatsApp message (copy of the message is attached).On the 5th January 2020 the landlord came to us to speak about the kitchen repairs and myhusband advised that we are in progress and that he would pick up the doors on Monday 6thJanuary 2020 he then went on to express his anger and frustration and I intervened andhighlighted his failed responsibilities as the landlord (no lights down stairs since August, dirtyswimming pool with insects, windows not opening, cracked walls and tiles) the conversationdidn’t end well (he swore me by using then F word and told me that he will show me) he latersent a WhatsApp message giving us notice to vacate by end February 2020.
We would like to request that you provide us with some direction on the way forward – we donot have a problem leaving as per his message giving us notice to leave however we wouldlike to know about the repairs to the kitchen and the deposit amount vs the interest amount,we paid a deposit of R5000 in September 2013 and please could you also advise regarding aback payment due to no lights downstairs since August 2019.
Your response to this matter will be highly appreciated.