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26 Jul 2010

Battle with rental agent
Hi,

We''ve been renting property for about 2 months. When we moved in the walls were damaged (the agent said they''d send people to fix them in the same week) and I discovered that use of the shower and toilet causes water to run to the passage causing me to have to wipe the floor every time they are used. We''ve alerted the agents many times that this is an inconvinince and we''d like it fixed and they keep saying they''ll send somebody but nobody has ever been sent. We''ve resorted to not paying rent, i''ve skipped one month and am thinking of not paying again. Is this justified according to the law or will I land myself in trouble? We''ve signed a year''s lease. Please advice what can we do.

Looking forward ro hearing from you.
Answer 440 views
Expert
Family law expert
family law expert

01 Jan 0001

The landlord must maintain the property in a safe an proper condition.It is trite that a lessee is entitled to full use and enjoyment of a property during a lease and the landlord has the duty to deliver and maintain the property in a condition reasonably fit for the purpose for which it had been let. Various remedies are available to a tenant including cancellation of the agreement, a claim for specific performance, damages and a reduction of rental. Thus you would be entitled to a reduction of the rent proportional to the diminished use and enjoyment of the premises, which will be an appropriate response in terms of our rights under Sections 10, 14 and 26 of the Constitution.

It is important to look at the lease agreement as well and whether you will be entitled to withold rental.

I would refer the matter to the Rental Tribunal and report the agents to the estate agency board.

Bertus Preller
Family Law Attorney
KWJ Inc.
www.divorceattorney.co.za
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