Tweak rental agreements

Sharyn Samra, West Beach

I would like to thank Brian Joss for addressing our problem (“Tenant ducks and dives after ditching flat,” Tabletalk, February 7) as he himself put it, it was and still is, a complex case.

Needless to say, we are dealing with the situation legally.

I do, however, feel that the way the law currently stands regarding tenants is being “abused” by some of them.

Rental agencies themselves are facing an increase in problem tenants (so not only individuals that manage their own property).

As the law is not going to change any time soon (if at all) landlords need to make changes themselves.

For instance, we will look at adding a clause whereby we specify that the tenant will pay one month’s rent in advance plus R10 000 deposit (for “potential legal issues “) or words to that effect.

This money belongs to the tenant but should a problem arise whereby they do not vacate the premises at the end of the lease agreement, the landlord may use the fund towards legal fees in order to have them evicted .

The way it is now, tenants know that a landlord will be forced to go to a lawyer and pay out of their own pocket while they stay rent-free and by the time the issue does goes to court and you get an eviction notice, they cannot afford to pay your costs and rent etc .

This would all be done legally of course. This way the tenant knows that it is his money that will be used should this problem arise.

We should not have to fight for the right to our own property.

While we were pursuing the tenant through a lawyer, our “squatter” was far from innocent.

To put it briefly: she has lied to us, stolen from us, maliciously destroyed a door, left the apartment in a state with all carpets stained with dog urine/faeces, damaged walls etc, lied to the police and “conned” the Rental Tribunal (who acted abominably as far as we are concerned).

And this, folks, is a woman that has been allowed, by her estate agency – who are fully aware of her behaviour – to continue to advertise and show property for rental.