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Thread: For all the Durban business people

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    Angry For all the Durban business people

    Last edited by Dave A; 04-Jun-12 at 01:27 PM. Reason: fixed link

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I saw that on the news stand this morning.

    There's a more comprehensive report on IOL here.

    It's a shocker alright, with serious consequences

    I see this as very much the core of the issue:

    The city’s head of revenue, Peet du Plessis, said on the municipality’s website: “The debt is a debt against the property, and the owner is responsible for the debt ultimately.”
    Practically, the municipality has been applying this philosophy for years already. If there's an unpaid bill for an electrical supply by a previous occupant, there is no way they'll connect the supply for a new occupant or issue a rates clearance certificate for a sale until that outstanding bill has been paid, despite the party being held to ransom was never party to the electricity supply contract.

    I quietly wondered whether this new move had come because the municipality realised this approach was not legally defendable.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Gold Member Chrisjan B's Avatar
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    I also had to pay for the outstanding electricity bill for my evicted tenant in our flat in Pretoria (Tshwane)...

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    The solution is to install prepaid meters. This is the future for water as well...
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrismine View Post
    I also had to pay for the outstanding electricity bill for my evicted tenant in our flat in Pretoria (Tshwane)...
    Were you a party to the contract between the electricity supplier and the tenant?

    Let's be honest here, the municipality is looking for the easy out rather than chase down who is actually responsible for the bill.

    And here's my argument against the move.

    1. Which is the more vulnerable group - the property owner or the tenant? I'd suggest the tenant in this relationship, and it is irresponsible for municipalties to make them even more vulnerable to possible abuse by their landlords.

    2. Is the landlord obliged to charge their tenants the same tariff as they're being charged by the municipality? The short answer is no.

    3. Will the landlord charge their tenants the same tariff for electricity as they are being charged by the municipality? Probably not. There's an admin cost here, not to mention the need to cover for defaults.

    The natural progression of this move will mean:
    Tenants will pay more for their electricity than if they contracted with the municipality directly.
    Negotiating a lease will involve more than agreeing a rent - it will also mean agreeing the costs of services such as electricity and water, making selection and negotiations far more complex.

    Ultimately the move makes for greater simplicity for municipalites, and increased complexity for the vulnerable. Shouldn't this trend be going the other way around?

    After all, municipalities should be far better equipped to deal with complexity than struggling tenants.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I got my notice

    Attention Owners, Tenants, Occupiers

    A new Credit Control and Debt Recovery Policy has been approved for the 2012/2013 financial year commencing 1 July 2012

    1. RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY - REGISTRATION OF OWNERS ONLY FOR SERVICES

    • From 1 July 2012, the municipality will register owners only for electricity and water services on the property.
    • Tenants already registered prior to 1 July 2012 will remain registered until their accounts are terminated or their agreement with the Municipality is cancelled due to arrears (breach). Any new registrations in the name of the tenant will not be allowed.
    • The owner will be required to consolidate the rates, water and electricity into one account.
    • Tenants will not be given copy accounts.
    • The owner may appoint an agent to act on his/her behalf for the purpose of opening accounts. The agent will be required to produce written authority to act as an agent of the owner.


    2. CHEQUES

    • Cheques, including bank guaranteed cheques will not be accepted at any Municipal pay points.
    • Cheques issued by the bank, where the bank is the drawer, will still be accepted.
    • Attorneys Trust cheques will be accepted for Revenue Clearance purposes.


    For more information please call, 031 324 5000 or contact your nearest Sizakal Centre.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I suppose the good news is it only applies to residential property

    for now at least.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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