Help getting deposit back from estate agent/homeowner

Discussion in 'The Sump' started by magman, 28 Feb 2012.

  1. magman

    magman

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    Hi all,

    I need some advice, we moved about 6 weeks ago, and are struggling to get our money released by estate agent, because the home owner doesn't agree, he is being very unreasonable, and I have run out of patience.

    We left the house in the condition we got it, the estate agent agreed, but the homeowner is just trying his luck, saying he wants new carpets, he even wanted us to regas the aircon,

    what is the next step, court? While we were staying there we did incur damage to property, due to his incompetence in not fixing things, after we asked, we suffered loss due to property being stolen due to him not fixing gates, could we go compensation on this too?

    Any one got any suggestions?
     
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  3. eddiead

    eddiead

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    You are supposed to do an incoming check list with the owner or estate agent, where any defects are noted and both parties sign the document. An outgoing inspection has to take place within 7 days after you've moved out with the above mentioned parties. If there are any damages it comes from your deposit. The balance, if any, must be refunded to the tenant not later than 14 days after restoration of the dwelling to the landlord (this period is extended to 21 days if the tenant has failed to inspect the dwelling with the landlord at the termination of the lease). However, no deduction may be made if the landlord has failed to inspect the dwelling with the tenant. If nothing is owing to the landlord, the full deposit plus interest must be refunded to the tenant, without any deductions or offset, within 7 days after the expiry of the lease.
     
  4. magman

    magman Thread Starter

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    half the problem, is the estate agent, and I would say the probably one of the biggest in the country:whistling:

    They only inspected 6 months after we moved in,

    also they say according to law, that they can only release my depoist, when both parties have come to an agreement, also they say that they do not pay interest on a deposit.

    The problem that I have, is I think the owner thinks that half the deposit is his, and he has nothing to lose.
     
  5. eddiead

    eddiead

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    The estate agent is incorrect on some of there facts here. Here is the Rental Housing act (No. 50 1999).
    http://www.info.gov.za/view/DownloadFileAction?id=70618

    I quote the Rental Housing act again here:
    the landlord may require a tenant. before moving into the dwelling, to pay a
    deposit which. at the time, may not exceed an amount equivalent to an amount
    specified in the agreement or otherwise agreed to between the parties:
    the deposit contemplated in paragraph (c)must be invested by the landlord in
    an interest-bearing account with a financial institution and the landlord must 10
    subject to paragraph (g) pay the tenant interest at the rate applicable to such
    account ~hich may not be less than the rate applicable to a savin&s account
    with a financial institution. and the tenant may during the period of the Iease
    request the landlord to provide him or her with written proof in respect of
    interest accrued on such deposit, and the landlord must provide such proof on 15
    request: Provided that where the landlord is a registered estate agent as
    provided for in the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 1976 (Act No. 112 of 1976), the
    deposit and any interest thereon shall be dealt with in accordance with the
    provisions of that Act;
    the tenant and the landlord must jointly, before the tenant moves into the 20
    dwelling. inspect the dwelling to ascertain the existence or not of any defects
    or damage therein with a view to determining the landlord .s responsibility for
    rectifying any defects or damage or with a view to registering such defects or
    damage, as provided for in subsection (7):
    at the expiration of the lease the landlord and tenant must arrange a joint 25
    inspection of the dwelling at a mutually convenient time to take place within
    a period of three days prior to such expiration with a view to ascertaining if
    there was any damage caused to the dwelling during the tenant’s occupation
    thereofi
    on the expiration of the lease, the landlord may apply such deposit and interest 30
    towards the payment of all amounts for which the tenant is liable under the
    said lease, including the reasonable cost of repairing damage to the dwelling
    during the lease period and the cost of replacing lost keys and the balance of
    the deposit and interest, if any, must then be refunded to the tenant by the
    landlord not later than 14 days of restoration of the dwelling to the landlord; 35
    the relevant receipts which indicate the costs which the landlord incurred. as
    contemplated in paragraph (g), must be available to the tenant for inspection
    as proof of such costs incurred by the landlord;
    should no amounts be due and owing to the landlord in terms of the lease, the
    deposit, together with the accrued interest in respect thereof. must be refunded 40
    by the landlord to the tenant, without any deduction or set-off. within seven
    days of expiration of the lease;
    Failure by the landlord to inspect the dwelling in the presence of the tenant as
    contemplated in paragraphs (e) or (~) is deemed to be an acknowledgement by
    the landlord that the dwelling is in a good and proper state of repair, and the 45
    landlord will have no further claim against the tenant vho must then be
    refunded.
    in terms of this subsection. the full deposit plus interest by the
    landlord;

    should the tenant fail to respond to the landlords request for an inspection as
    contemplated in paragraph (~). the landlord must. on expiration of the lease. 50
    inspect the dwelling within seven days from such expiration in order to assess
    any damages or 10SS which occurred during the tenancy:
    the land]ord may in the circumstances contemplated in paragraph (k). without
    detracting from arty other right or remedy of the landlord, deduct from the
    tenants deposit and interest the reasonable cost of repairing damage to the 55
    dwelling and the cost of replacing ]ost keys;

    As for the deposit and interest. If the deposit is paid to the agent they will keep the funds in a trust account. They have to pay half of the interest to the Estate Agency Affairs Board and they may retain the other half themselves. This is standard procedure but they did not seem to communicate that to you, as they should have.

    All this text comes from the Estate Agency Affairs examination book. Your estate agent should know these things.

    Quote these facts to the estate agent and please check what your lease says in regards to deposits. As that will override the above if you have sign and thus agreed to those terms.

    Before taking any action please familiarise yourself with the Rental Housing act in order for you to argue from a strong legal base.

    If there has been no out going inspection the landlord acknowledges that there are no defects and has no claim to damages.
     
  6. magman

    magman Thread Starter

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    Thanks bud, half my problem is the estate agent, they did the entry inspection six months after we moved in.
     
  7. eddiead

    eddiead

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    Did you get things sorted out?
     
  8. magman

    magman Thread Starter

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    I did, thanks bud, but I hear the owner is still trying to give the estate agent a hard time, making really unreasonable requests, but otherwise the estate agent did pay it across, as what the home owner was requesting, had nothing to do with me as a tenant,
     
  9. magman

    magman Thread Starter

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    @Viper

    Dean has the rep button been disabled, as I can't seem to give rep for posts on this thread :blush:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Can only give rep for reefkeeping related threads. ;)
     
    Last edited: 26 Nov 2015
  11. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    And nextime please don't forget my surname when tagging me, it's 357 in case you forgot :tt2:
     
  12. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    @mr357 :whistling:
     
  13. magman

    magman Thread Starter

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    so how did @crispin get so much rep, he has never posted anything outside the wara wara praat threads

    @Vipernorris ok boss, duly noted
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  14. RFSwanepoel

    RFSwanepoel

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    The way I have it.
    The Agent is responsible for doing the check within the first 7 days then you have to also have it done with a signed and agreed upon piece of paper with all damages listed, Can they or you supply such a piece of paper ?

    if they failed to do so you are not liable for that, Tell him to read his owner/agent agreement.
    Carpets are the owners problem as they are not permanent fixtures and if you as tenant did not agree that the carpets are your doing on a signed piece of paper then they can't prove it is there for they can't take your deposit for this.

    This Act was not written in favour of landlords it was written for Tenants

    Also when you do finally get your deposit please remember that in RSA Landlord Tenant act the landlord is supposed to put your deposit into an investment account that has to gain at no less that 8%(Might have changed) per year. If he failed to do so make sure you make his life hell.

    Did this Landlord ever come to the house without 72 hrs notice?
    Did he once fix anything ?
    If not do you have E-Mails or some form of proof in writing that you did indeed request maintenance?
    Did you ever fix anything including and not limited to light bulbs ect, and do you have invoices for this?
    Did you fully comply with your contract to the end?

    They just need to remember without proof of anything there is no case for them to take your Deposit whatsoever. and if you can find proof of breach of contract the they can go (...) themselves.

    Some links:


    Your Rights:
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=1bVRpC6nicr-EorTx_hW0FT2jSQTugtU3EPQ3BnPP_Dxzi0B5SE7wR52keCwh

    If this link doesn't work find PDF at the bottom.

    People that might be able to help you or at least advise you:

    Gauteng Rental housing Tribunal
    Ms. Betty Kgobe
    Address:
    STREET ADDRESS:
    1066 Old Mutual Building
    35 Pritchard Street, corner Harrison Street
    14th Floor
    JOHANNESBURG
    2107

    POSTAL ADDRESS:
    Private Bag X79
    Marshalltown
    JOHANNESBURG
    Republic of South Africa
    2107

    TELEPHONE:
    +27 11 630-5035
    +27 11 630-5059

    FACSIMILE:
    +27 11 630-5057

    E-MAIL:
    Betty.kgobe@gauteng.gov.za[​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: 4 Mar 2015
  15. seank

    seank

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    Wrong, interest is also due
    Classic :lol: :lol:
     
  16. eddiead

    eddiead

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  17. RFSwanepoel

    RFSwanepoel

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    Not really sure had all my info come from a few year ago with the same issue, Might have been part of my contract as I did receive my Deposit plus some more back.
    I mentioned it coz it's a breach of contract/law not for the amounts and bla bla bla...

    I actually didn't see he got it sorted out before I posted.
    Was still looking for a way to get this guy to pay and a little tiny tiny breach would do the trick.

    My bad :blush:

    I'm glad he got his problem solved though.
    I had to actually find my own info on this and didn't have nice forum friends to help me.
    It was a messy issue, But I got it solved eventually after a few months.
     
  18. RFSwanepoel

    RFSwanepoel

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    Doesn't it come down to Keeping your deposit value up with current rates, meaning if your deposit is 10k in 3 years it should be more
     
  19. eddiead

    eddiead

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    I am a landlord myself. The problem it seems is that people assume they know the rules. It only becomes an issue when something goes wrong and then people rush to get the correct info.
    It is a good idea to know the rules before you sign a contract and make sure you understand everything.

    The rules are actually very simple and clear.

    Some people do strange things when money is involved.
     
  20. eddiead

    eddiead

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    If you renew your contract the tenant is supposed to pay the increase in the rental to equal the current rental, towards the deposit. That is something that should be in the lease agreement though.
     
  21. RFSwanepoel

    RFSwanepoel

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    But if you pay 10k on a 3 year lease and you agree to an increase of say 8%/yr then should your deposit not also increase without you having to increase it by paying in money. And then when you do cancel lease they should pay you what your rent was at the end of the lease, not your original 10k but 12,600ish.

    It was most likely part of the agreement I signed. Lawyer said it's ok sign the thing and I did. lol

    Have U ever gone into the pension laws of this country, this was another huge issue when my father went on early retirement at Eskom and they took nearly a year to pay him.
    WoW The rental act is nothing in comparison. Talk about loopy laws.

    This countries laws are so messed up nobody can actually understand a thing that goes on in them. Grey areas all over the place.

    A few years ago they made it law to sell plastic bags to ppl but at the time they had not changed the law that stated no Alcohol is allowed to be visible in a public area yet. This was also a issue coz they had effectively forced ppl to buy something they don't need which went against some open market laws or something at that time. The Gov where breaking their own laws and had 3 laws contradicting each other.
    They did eventually pick up on it though. But till this day ppl still don't know that you are allowed visible booze in public (Not open just visible) if the cap is off you are in trouble.
    And by "ppl" I mean law enforcement looking for free booze.
     
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