Good DayMy ex boyfriend got a job in Jhb...

Asked by Mignon on 25-10-2023 12:23:16
Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Western Cape

Good Day

My ex boyfriend got a job in Jhb and left. For the two months of August and September he was not here, therefore did not pay rent. 

He returned on 1 October, without paying rent, we had a domestic dispute and on 09 October i asked him to leave. He is not on the lease agreement, i am. Our agreement was that half rent and utilities would be paid by him. He did not.

After leaving 09 October, he left his things here, which I advised by 01 November he needs to fetch his things and he agreed he will. 

Now he found a flat that he is moving into on 01 November and is refusing to collect his things as his new flat is fully furnished and asked if i can keep it his things longer till he makes a plan. I advised No, he needs to collect it by 01 November.

What can I do within my rights? Can i put his things out as he broke our agreement to collect.

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 25-10-2023 14:43:53

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

The problem that I think that you have is that you are the tenant, in accordance with the lease agreement. The landlord will therefore look to YOU for payment of the rental.

The fact that you and your boyfriend might have a side-agreement that he will contribute 50% of the rental to you so you can pay the full rental to the landlord, is not the landlord's concern. The landlord will say that he was never a party to that agreement and he is not bound to it. The landlord will demand his rental.

What you should have done was to put your boyfriend's name on the lease agreement, as a co-tenant, and then it would have been clear that he would have a legal obligation to pay 50% of the rental. 

In relation to his stuff which he has left in your flat, you are entitled to demand that he comes to collect it. You are under no contractual obligation to keep his stuff safe, until such time as he wants to collect it. 

However, you can't just put it on the road - because you know that it will be stolen or destroyed. 

If you have a claim against him for 50% of the rental for 2 months, and possibly more, then what you should be doing is going to the small claims court to sue him for his portion. Get a judgment, and then get the sheriff to execute on the judgment and come to your flat to attach and remove HIS stuff. 

The sheriff will then take his stuff out of your flat; sell it; and then pay you the proceeds. In this way, you would "eventually" be made whole and receive the money that your boyfriend promised.

He has broken the agreement that you guys had. He can't get away scott-free. He must contribute what he said he would. The small claims court (which has a limit of R20,000) is the place that you need to be in.

Otherwise, you must tell him that you will keep his stuff in your flat but you will only release it to him if he makes his contribution to you of the 2 months rental ... like he agreed. 

Answer Accepted

This answer was accepted on 25-10-2023 18:30:57

If you would like to view the entire answer, you will need to either login or register a FREE account.


DISCLAIMER: Advice or answers from Lawyers on South African Legal Advice are not substitutes for the proper advice of an Lawyer. South African Legal Advice is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Lawyer who assists with your question is not your Lawyer, and the response above is not to be considered to be legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from individual Lawyers, not South African Legal Advice. The site and services are provided “as is”. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.