Tenants fed up with landlord

2017-08-29 06:00
Local pensioner Gordan Peteresen says he is fedup with the way tenants are treated on the premises. PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

Local pensioner Gordan Peteresen says he is fedup with the way tenants are treated on the premises. PHOTOS: AISHAH CASSIEM

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Locals renting a block of flats in Granite Close, Grassy Park say they have been left without water for days after the City of Cape Town turned it off due to unpaid bills. The tenants, who include single parents and pensioners, say it’s time their landlords step up and do things lawfully. Residents claim the water is turned on illegally, which often leads to cut-offs any time of the day.

“Our people have been sitting without water since last week. We received a letter prior to the incident with no name. When our residents opened it to identify, we discovered it was a bill of R27 000 for water. We took the letter to our landlord and she said she would take care of it. Not long after, the water was switched off by the City, affecting many of the families on this block,” says pensioner Gordon Petersen.

Petersen says a local plumber was sent to turn on the water, and questioned the property owner’s illegal actions.

“My wife went to the shop and upon her return she saw the landlord’s usual plumber working on the water outside the premises. All of a sudden we had water again. A few minutes later, the water was off again. What we want to know is this a City plumber or are illegal activities being done here? This affects everyone living here and we fear for our living conditions,” he says.

But the water is not the only issue residents face daily.

“Our landlord, known only as Mrs Abrahams, hasn’t been here for months. She is very hard to get hold of and whenever we travel to or call her offices, she is not available. There are so many issues on this property that she avoids fixing. We are sick and tired and need her to start looking after her tenants. We are mostly elderly people living here and it is not fair,” he says.

“During our stay in New Zealand last year we received a call to say our place had been flooded with water. It was reported to the landlord but nothing was done. Elderly women had to clean up the place at the time. When we returned the geyser was still not fixed and we were told there’s nothing they can do until the insurance pays out.”

Petersen says he waited for a week and had no option but to go to his daughter’s place to shower and cook food.

“After making several calls they kept telling me they were waiting on insurance. I asked for the insurance number and offered to sort it out myself. They told me not to be in a rush and that they would sort it. The plumber eventually came out to fix it and messed up my water meter and broke the tape. He said sorry and that he would come back to replace it. He never came back. I am battling with the landlord on this ever since,” he adds.

Another tenant who does not want to be named says tenants will soon be forced to pay rent for vacant flats on the block.

“This lady wants us to pay extra towards our rent because nobody is living in the open flats. This is not our problem and we are not responsible for her loss. She needs to find people to fill up that space and not charge us for it,” she says. “A single mother also lived on this block and the tenant would come in their home without permission, switching off electricity and water. She also traumatised the family at one point, bringing people on the property to damage the home, because the family would not leave.”

She say a child was in the home when Abrahams brought a man to the property to damage the flat.

“She basically had him smash all the windows on the day with the woman’s 16-year-old hiding in the house out of fear. This is one of many actions done because the tenant lied about the number of children she had. Tenants are only allowed one child. Abrahams found out about the extra children and forced the single mother to move out.”

Residents say they hope the condition of tenants living on the block will change soon and urge the landlord to step up and do things correctly. People’s Post tried to contact Abrahams but could not reach her for comment.

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