Landlord storms out of court after spat over rent

2015-04-07 22:07

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Cape Town - A man, who wanted the tenants in his newly-acquired property to pay rent, stormed out of a small claims court in Cape Town empty handed on Tuesday night.

It transpired that the previous owner had allowed tenants Austacia Rutger and Joseph Nelson and his wife, Revona, to live in the house rent-free.

The new owner, Stanley Jonkers, claimed R2 000 arrears rental from Rutger, and R4 000 from the Nelsons, in the Bellville Small Claims Court, before Commissioner Nico Janse van Rensburg.

Asked how he had calculated the rental, Jonkers said he had set it at R2 000 per month, which he considered “fair and reasonable”.

The proceedings became hectic when all three tried to state their views together, resulting in a loud, incoherent babble.

The commissioner had to raise his voice several times, to restore order.

He asked Jonkers if he had perhaps discussed the rental with his tenants, before deciding the amount – he had not.

Commissioner: “So you made a unilateral decision?”

Jonkers seemed not to understand the meaning of “unilateral”, and lamented that the three had lived in the house free of charge.

The commissioner said Jonkers’s determination of a “reasonable rental” was invalid, because he had not first discussed it with the tenants.

Nelson blurted: “We stayed there free all the time, and suddenly he comes in and says he’s the new owner of the house, and he wants us to pay rent.”

In an attempt to explain the meaning of unilateral, the commissioner said: “It take two to tango.”

The commissioner said Jonkers’s solution was to get an eviction order to get the tenants out.

Jonkers said he had in fact obtained an eviction order, “but the eviction was stopped because they appealed”.

The commissioner said Jonkers had no valid basis for his claims against Rutger and the Nelsons.

A frustrated Jonkers exclaiming loudly: “I’m not talking anymore.”

He stormed out of the court room muttering and cursing loudly, bringing the proceedings to an abrupt ending.

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