Question posted in the Property Law category relating to KwaZulu-Natal
During Covid lockdown, we were renting a house from an estate agent. Seeing that my husband owns his own business, and was not classified as an "Essential Service," he was unable to produce an income for quite some time. I had 2 jobs that barely covered our basic needs, hence we fell behind with our rent as well as our water bills.
We were able to pay R60 000 towards the outstanding amount of just under R100 000. My husband's business only recently started earning some money again, but needless to say, we have not been able to pay the outstanding monies due to the estate agent as we need to pay back the person who lent us the R60 000 to pay towards the outstanding rent, as well as cover our day-to-day needs and our current rent, etc.
To my understanding, most landlords received a "Payment Holiday" during Covid, which means that they did not have to pay their bonds for 3 months. Does this mean that even though we were living in the owners' house at the time of the "Payment Holiday", could the "Payment Holiday" not be in favor of the tenant too, i.e no rent to be paid by tenants for 3 months, or am I completely misunderstanding the whole concept?
We received a "Letter of handover" today stating that all additional costs will be for our account.
Kindly advise what we can do as we are currently in an extremely difficult financial position (as so many are) and are unable to pay the outstanding balance, and can most certainly not afford to have any more costs added to our current bill.
Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Answer to the Question
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To my understanding, most landlords received a "Payment Holiday" during Covid, which means that they did not have to pay their bonds for 3 months. --> No, this is only for commercial premises where the tenant doesn't have the use of the premises. For residential premises, you had use of the premises. Therefore, you need to pay rental.
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