Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Eastern Cape
I would really appreciate some advice with regards to my brother’s tenant. I'm unable to attach a copy of the lease.
The lease expires 31 May 2020 and the tenant confirmed via Whatsapp, on the 24 March 2020 that he would not be renewing his lease. This tenant has been a problem when it comes to the rental and municipal payments as well as poor communication (he just doesn’t respond to messages).
The tenant has always been a bad payer and lost his job October 2019 but advised he was receiving a payout, which would cover the rental. We recieved the January 2020 rental 20 December, the February rental was paid a few days late, 7 March 2020 we were guaranteed the rental would be paid by 20 March 2020 as he was waiting for his UIF to payout, but only received part rental on 23 March and balance 24 March 2020.
I went to the property on 10 March 2020 and although both tenant and his partner were unemployed, I was guaranteed that the rental will be paid, even if they got the money from his partner's mother. At that time the tenant was going to renew the lease that expired 31 May 2020. I advised the tenant that the lease would have to be in his and his partner's name and that his partner's mother would also have to sign, as sureity. However on the 24 March 2020 after being advised the balance of the rental was paid, the tenant gave notice to vacate at the end of his lease, the 31 May 2020.
On the 20 April 2020, I asked when payment would be made. On 21st April 2020 the tenant advised he is unable to give a date as to when the rental will be paid. Todate the tenant has not responded to another request on the payment of April 2020 rental. Their municipal account is also in arrears and looking at their history, will only pay towards the account when the prepaid electricity card is blocked.
A message was sent to the tenant 11 April 2020, advising the tenant that we will not extend the lease after 31 May 2020 and suggested he contact family, friends, etc. should they not secure another property before 31 May 2020. We also advised them that their deposit would be utilised for the May 2020 rental, giving them the opportunity to use the May 2020 rental as a deposit to secure another property. No response was received from the tenant.
Our reasons for not extending the lease, until he finds alternative accommodation, is simply because the tenant and his partner are not working (their choice), they are relying on their UIF payments and considering their beyond poor payment history, we are concerned that they will not vacate the 31 May 2020, only the 30 June 2020, leaving us with 2 month’s rental not paid (April and June) and a municipal account with -+ 4 months due. It is also a concern, whether they will allow access to the property after lockdown. We have learnt that the tenant’s word cannot be trusted, so although he has said he will allow access, we anxiously have to wait and see. In fact on the 21 April 2020, I asked him to confirm access will be granted after lockdown as we have a handyman and prospective tenants we want to take through, but no response from the tenant.
Please would you advise on what can be done, to ensure the tenant does vacate at 31 May 2020 and limit the monitory loss.
Debbie van der Walt