I am currently engaged in a dispute with...

Asked by Andrew Murray on 07-05-2024 11:37:15
Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Gauteng

I am currently engaged in a dispute with my landlord, which is set to be heard by the Rental Housing Tribunal later this month. The issues at hand range from being overcharged for electricity to the landlord climbing over walls to access the property in our absence.

We have previously attended the tribunal and received a judgment that required the landlord to provide proof of the deposit and municipal electricity accounts, as well as to address maintenance issues (verified by an inspector's visit to the property). However, the landlord has not complied with any of the orders from the judgment. When I reported this non-compliance to the tribunal, I was informed that they only enforce financial orders.

In the initial case, many of my complaints were ignored because they were not included in the original complaint form and were therefore not addressed. The Tribunal advised me that I could file a new case including the previously overlooked complaints, which I have now done.

Since the landlord owns a property with about 35 houses, all either rented or available for rent, I believe I should receive additional protection under the Consumer Protection Act. My concern is how to quantify a claim, as it would be futile if the Tribunal agrees with me but the landlord disregards their order, resulting in no change.

The issues I want adressed are as follows:

I want my deposit refunded. A deposit is not a landlord's right, and if requested, he is obliged to invest it. Since this has not been done, the deposit is not being used as intended. Moreover, the landlord operates as a sole proprietor; if he dies or becomes insolvent, retrieving deposits will become extremely difficult for 35 families.As a reseller of electricity, he does not offer the electrical tariffs as specified by NERSA. The electrical equipment is not approved, nor are calibration tests ever conducted. For over a year, he has neglected the maintenance agreed upon before we moved in, including fixing broken windows, cupboards, and leaks. In addition to trespassing (for which I have a witness), there have also been threats, verbal abuse, and intimidation (with witnesses and video evidence).Six months ago he replaced the houses main breaker with a 15 amp breaker and disconnected the geyser.  

For points 4-6 how do I ask for a refund or other compensation?  What could I ask for?

Can I make a case for constructive eviction?  What would this entail and is it worth it?

Your feedback would be greatly apreciated.





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