News24

Durban landlords pay up for tenants' bills

2012-06-04 10:46

Durban - Durban landlords would be responsible for settling outstanding amounts for water and electricity bills for tenants, the Mercury reported on Monday.

The eThekwini municipality has imposed a new credit control and debt collection policy that will no longer allow new tenants to have municipal accounts for electricity and water in their own names.

The policy which comes into effect on July 1 requires property owners to consolidate rates, water and electricity into one account. Tenants would no longer receive a copy of their accounts.

Tenants that were registered before July 1 would remain registered until their accounts were terminated or their agreement with the municipality was cancelled because of arrears.

Comments
  • Sonja - 2012-06-04 10:51

    WoW. Watch this space - Squatter invasion is about to begin.

  • Neil - 2012-06-04 11:01

    Don't think this will work - constitutionally speaking. How can a landlord be responsible for his/her tenant's bills. If so then the landlord has to be in control of supplying the utility. Just a waste of time and money for the lawyers. Bunch of fargin iceholes!!!!

      Koos - 2012-06-04 12:32

      You are correct Neil. The ANC have been pushing this at Municipalities. I know that they tried to implement this at one municipality (that I know off) but were taken to court and they lost. The owner can NOT be held liable for another person’s non-payment.

      Paulnicomp - 2012-06-04 17:56

      It already works that way this is actually an improvement as now the landlord can close the account / get the electricity and water cut off. In the past the council would not do this as the account was held by the tenant but they still held the landlord responsible for the arrears. This is obviously unjust and probably illegal but unless one wished to fight the matter in court and not get any rent for the next couple of years one paid and claimed it as a tax write off.

  • Graham - 2012-06-04 11:14

    Time to sell all investment property held in Dirty Durban?

      Sonja - 2012-06-04 11:26

      and fast

      lindaawhelan - 2012-06-04 11:40

      Or install pre-paid meters

      bernpm - 2012-06-04 11:41

      a declaration of incompetence by the municipality. Shifting responsibilities! Landlords, stand together and start with cancelling all rental agreements by letter and leave the municipality to sort out the mess of the homeless.

  • nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-04 11:25

    Another stupid 'solution' that will solve nothing, in fact, it will create more problems.

  • Denzil - 2012-06-04 11:35

    Landlords are now going to become Electricity Providers and charge Tenants Electricity at their own rates. Well with that comes an Administrative Fee as well.

  • Bokrichard - 2012-06-04 11:36

    In Mangaung (Bloemfontein) I already had to pay several tenants outstanding accounts. The Municipality refused to connect a new tenant untill the previous tenant's account was up to date. And so I had to pay up and smile. And no way to recover from the previous tenant as they have disappeared like nobody can trace them.

      Brett - 2012-06-04 14:40

      Municipality have to ensure that they cut off the power and water as per their terms if not they are giving credit with your money and this is illegal.

  • Murechen - 2012-06-04 11:40

    Something else for the citizens and companies to rip apart in court. Once again well done policy / law makers of this country.

  • Chris - 2012-06-04 11:42

    Pre-paid electricity and 2 months months rent upfront for Nigerian bouncers/debt collection.

  • grantdean10 - 2012-06-04 11:43

    Yet another case of the guilty being the innocent victims!! All this is going to do is have the tenants running up HUGE bills and then running!! Landlords - ask for a 6 month deposit!!! Or the rent is going to become so high that nobody can afford it anymore!

  • grantdean10 - 2012-06-04 11:44

    Pre-paid meters are the way to go!!!! Wonder if the municipality has shares in this as well???

      Sonja - 2012-06-04 12:11

      we put a pre-paid meter in our house last year. our electricity cost went down R500.00 a month.

  • Steve - 2012-06-04 11:51

    MAY I SUGGEST AS A START ALL ACCOUNTS /LANDLORDS ARE PREPAID WITH THE AVERAGE MNTHLY BILL UPFRONT AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH MNTH WITH THE RENT AND ADJUSTED AS NEED BE AT END OF MNTH . START OF A LEASE : 2 MNTH RENTS UP FRONT TO COVER DAMAGES AND POSSIBLE NON PAYMENT OF RENT 1 MNTH WATER AND LIGHTS AVERAGE DEPOSIT PAID UPFRONT TO COVER POSSIBLE CHALLENGES THE METRO NEEDS TO INSTALL PREPAID METERS FOR ELECTRICITY AND WATER NON PAYMENT MUCH LIKE PREPAID AIRTIME - IF YOU DONT PAY YOU DONT GET

  • Chris - 2012-06-04 11:56

    why not include the phone bill ?? prepaid water and lights is the solution , works in most places of africa - This includes business premises .

      Mike - 2012-06-04 13:06

      Chris. Ever heard of cell phones ?

  • Bear - 2012-06-04 11:57

    All the landlords will do is dump the extra risk on the tenants, thus this will end up making the cost of apartments in Durban a lot more.

  • kaMazibuko - 2012-06-04 12:02

    This is a good idea coz it protects tenant and landlord. As part of deposit, there must be an allowance for this as well. Better to use deposit money and settle outstanding bill then chase up a tenant to settle themselves.

      Stuart - 2012-06-04 12:26

      You have obviously never let a property. The deposit doesn't even cover damages and the last month's rent that nobody pays. Prepaid meters and two months rent up front as deposit may help. The landlord has no protection at all !!!!!

  • Steve - 2012-06-04 12:10

    Aim should be to half rates bill randage .Get electriity and water at cost. Half government salary bill from top down and build schools and hospitals with this difference Government to get income from vat raised in its region. We will become the preferred destination to live and do business in and more people will become employed !!

  • Ryno - 2012-06-04 12:16

    who on earth wants to live in Dirty Durban in the first place?

  • Bob - 2012-06-04 12:34

    This is a pathetic move! You are going to make rentals harder to obtain because landlords will demand much higher security deposits! The agreement should be between the user and the municipality, no matter who owns the property!. Since when is someone responsible by proxy for another persons debt when no sureties to the same are applied Another draconian law thought up by someone without an ounce of brains!.

  • Jacqui - 2012-06-04 12:41

    Hell next they will be expecting doctors to bring their won supplies. Why don't they teach their people responsibility? One told me once that the government have promised them everything for free and they will never have to pay for water,electricity or houses. According to him the government said because that was what whites had under Apartheid. Wonder who these government people were. Even more scary what functions do they have today?.

  • mphomai - 2012-06-04 12:44

    OMG! Who comes up with stupid ideas like this? the tenants are now going to run a high bill, why should they care. And the few that will actually still be good will be subjected to high rent to cover up the costs of the nuisance makers, coz the landlords will have to cover the costs

  • shareeleah.rooyen - 2012-06-04 13:09

    This is a very bad idea - if the tenants arent responsible for the payments i.e. the possible amount is included in the rent - they will just use more electricity - so much for reducing wastage!

  • gembleton1 - 2012-06-04 14:01

    I have prepaid meters in all my properties, and no problem with tenets, the pay before they get the service, I hold the metro accounts in my name and can pick up problems like water leaks and excessive usage immediately, so won’t affect me

  • mikenortje - 2012-06-04 14:14

    Going to end up like the UAE / Dubai, once you sign the lease you pay the full rental up front, plus 2 months.

  • Norman - 2012-06-04 14:21

    Thing is, they're not selling electricity to the landlord, they're selling it to the tenant! If they can't recover it they just stick someone else with it!? Sounds like an SA guv strategy all the way actually...

  • vonkpos - 2012-06-04 15:57

    This has been the case in Gauteng for years!!!! NOTHING NEW! I had to pay in excess of R18000.00 for tenant's who did not pay! Municipality of Tswane (whatever their name is week) made me pay the outstanding amount - don't pay and they attach your property!!! So, the only way to do this is to include all the possible costs upfront and then pay them back! THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT! This is why it is not worth the investment anymore!

      Nicolaas - 2012-06-04 19:59

      I do not live in Durban but can advise you, charge the rentee the full rent for the period he intend of renting, than add the average monthly utility bill. The monthly bill is to be adjusted with the difference of the amount of water and electricity that has been used. This way you are covered. Me think this is to make loss income as taxi drivers are not allowed to receive fines for traffic violations. Just another ALL NATIONAL CRIMINAL PARTY rule to spear the taxpayer and to fund a basically bankrupt EKSDOM!

      vonkpos - 2012-06-05 07:56

      Or request a pre-paid meter! You will be paying a small fee, but it will be worth it in the long run! Trust me! GET YOUR PRE-PAID METER INSTALLED!

  • smillingdebby - 2012-06-07 15:55

    Gee, well eThekwini you have to give my boss( who is a landlord and owns 5 buildings) his money back. He has invested in prepaid electricity and individual water metres in all of his buildings. And of course the tenants who have paid R2080-00 to register as a consumer (Deposit) for water.

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