I was a tenant for 2 years in a complex ...

Asked by Francois on 08-05-2023 13:23:41
Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Gauteng

I was a tenant for 2 years in a complex in Pretoria. The contract ended 2 months ago and I moved out. The landlord is witholding my deposit, as well as refusing to provide me a statement to show the accrued interest over 2 years. The landlord is claiming that I did not pay my water bill for two years, and he now needs time to calculate exactly what I owe. In the contract it does state that I have to pay water and electricity, while the landlord pays the levy (this is a unit in a complex). The problem is that in this complex, water is included in the levy. The individual units don't have water meters, and there is no way to know how much water I used. My water would have been covered by the levy which the landlord paid. But he now wants to estimate my usage and deduct that from the deposit, since the contract stated I would pay water. When I originally signed the contract, I was told that water was not included and I had to register with Protea Metering for water. After moving in, I went to Protea but was told not to worry since water was already included. I informed my landlord of this, and it was apparently a surprise to him. I did not think more of this at the time, nor did the landlord say anything. Now 2 years later he suddenly wants to inforce that part of the contract. From my side, it was impossible for me to pay the water, since there was not a meter, and I had no place to pay it except for perhaps paying some extra rent, but I would not have known how much. And since water is included in the levy, and he has to pay the levy, does that not mean I have to pay nothing for water? Is water then not "free" in a way? He claims I broke the contract when I didn't pay water (never said anything for 2 years, only claiming that now). I claim he is breaking the contract by still holding on to my deposit 2 months later. What options do I have?

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