Background:I moved into the property in ...

Asked by InfoF on 22-01-2022 10:55:02
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng

Background:

I moved into the property in late September last year 2021, Signed the lease agreement. This is a shared property Main house (I am Renting) and the Granny flat (Landlord lives). We share the electric \ water meter. In the lease its states I pay 60% of the usage and she pays 40%. 

In October we had no issues. We paid the rent and a few days later the landlord appeared with the electricity bill. I paid my portion the same day with no issue. 

November appears, I pay the rent, No electricity bill. I asked the landlord a few times where my bill was, nothing, no reply. The 31st of December comes, and the landlord appears with the Electric bill which was due to be paid on 15/12/2021. With this she shows me a final demand from the electric company. Stating she owes them R13,860. Which came as a shock as the bill for November was R4798. Only to discover the landlord has been behind on all the municipal accounts for some time. 

I advised the landlord that I will release the payment from my savings account and pay it ASAP. But since it’s the 31st and a weekend I can only release the funds on Monday the 3rd of Jan 2022. Which I do, however on the 4th here comes the electric guy and disconnects the power. Great now I am in the dark with a 4yr and a 1yr old cause the Landlord could not be bothered to give me the bill or even the Final notice in time even though according to the statement the November bill was issued on the 24/11/2021 - And was due the 15/12/2021 Then she got the final demand after the 15th of Nov and had 14days on that to sort it out. But rather keep both in her possession till the 31st of Dec knowing the power would be cut in a few days. 

On the 5th of Jan the money I transfer hits my account, and I advise the landlord to please go get my power back on as I work from home so no power means no work which could lead to no job. She agrees to go and get the power on. Then I get the call, they will not put the power on unless we pay 30% of the bill... (Me thinking the November bill is only R4798 my 60% is R2,879.15 just pay it all and we good) my mistake they want 30% of the total amount the landlord owes which is now R21,800.53.... I ask now what she says, she budgeted her electric to be R1250 for November and R1250 for December, so she only has R2500. But now the electric company want 30% of R21,800 = R6540 plus a reconnection fee, before they reconnect the power. So, I transfer her R4,130 and she pays R2500. Totalling = R6,630 Joy shortly after my power get reconnected. 

The next thing we get a knock on the door, Surprise it's the landlord with another electric bill of R5000, and she says she already paid her portion of the R1250. Now I am no math guru but according to my lease 40% of R5000 is R2000. 

Nevertheless she seems to have forgotten her last R2500 went toward her 30% disconnection issues, and she is refusing to pay December electric, meaning I must now pay the Total R5000 to keep the lights on. Never mind I already overpaid by R1,245 from the last amount as I should have only paid R2,879.15 for November 

My Question: 

Surely the landlord's complete lack of urgency in getting me the Bills, or even the termination notice, and getting my power disconnected because of her neglect and back arrears. is a breach of contract and as such I want to know can I cancel my lease agreement as I can see this is a constant monthly battle, as she apparently has decided that even thou the lease says she should pay 40% she has decided she will not pay more the R1250, for electric, water, Sanitation, Waste management, Property rates, and her interest on the outstanding amount she owes.

Not to mention since we moved in 4mth ago we have been waiting for my roof leak to be fixed, which has now caused brown stains and black mold on my ceiling, and my Bathroom still floods every time you do the laundry due to a leaking tap which is both on the incoming inspection sheet. 

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