Tenants from hell

Mark Durrheim,
Table View

This is a warning and advice to those who do not use a good agent or do not do the relative background checks when renting out their homes.

What is happening to unsuspecting property owners is appalling, and the lengths people go to, to crook landlords and get away with it is astonishing.

I rented my house to a “friend” who had a recruitment business and who I had known for a few years, and I took a lower rental as I preferred someone I could trust.

She and her son moved in and I did some renovations and took extra care all was in order in the house. What followed was so astonishing to me that in the beginning I was completely fooled.

She created false accountants; forwarded false messages to her second phone and then on to me; created an investigator who emailed me but was
“hearing impaired and you can’t speak on a phone to me, and I dropped my phone so you can’t SMS me” .

The deposits were always made and then she would be hacked. Police were evidently dealing with this misfortune, she kept reassuring me, and FNB was sending me all my money again. She left voice mails so convincing that you just had to believe her.

When she departed, they had paid not one cent, and I paid for her uncapped wi-fi in my house. And the agent who assisted me to get another tenant said the place was a mess.

Across the road from me in lower Arum Road, a bunch of drug addicts/dealers and thieves have hijacked a unit for more than a year, after the original tenant sublet to them and left after one month.

The other three units and the flats on either side are tormented daily, police throw the women in vans, the security company has arrested the main occupant twice for dealing in drugs, they fight in the street and cause major noise continuously. There is no intercom system, and people shout and whistle day and night to be let in, or to show what they have in bags, which the police say is what they steal at night.

There is finally an eviction order to evict these people at the end of April, and they are leaving behind traumatised tenants and a trashed unit with thousands of rand in court costs to the owner.

To add to all this misery, I arrived at my house a few days ago, to find a young lady in tears, standing on the pavement accompanied by a furniture truck and her car with two dogs in it. These people had fraudulently rented out the unit on the internet, also chatting on the phone posing as the owner, then sent her a lease and taken R18 000 of her money for deposit and first month’s rental.

She travelled from Bloemfontein to Blouberg, arrived with all her belongings to start a new life and all she faces is misery.

As the policeman said to me on the pavement the constitution lets you get away with anything. And they have got away with it , selling their tik and trading in stolen goods in full view… and they are still living in the complex, rent free and protected by the law.