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Thread: Failure to refund Rental Deposit

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    Failure to refund Rental Deposit

    I have a problem with my ex landlord to get my deposit refunded to me. I moved out at the end of June, and after numerous emails he is still not giving me a date as to when he will pay my deposit back.

    I then logged a complaint to the Rental Housing Tribunal on 13 August and received confirmation from them on 23 August. After many phone calls and emails to them, I eventually got to speak to my case agent on 3 October, when I found out that no notification was sent to the landlord. When I asked him when I could phone again for an update, he told me that I have to wait, and "you can make as many calls as you want, you will get the same answer". I escalated this to his manager, and two days later a mediation session was arranged, only to be cancelled again by them a few days later.

    Since then I received an email from the landlord (in reply to one of my mails) for me to come and see him at his house to discuss when and how he is going to refund me (work out a payment plan). I replied to this that he should come see me if he want to work out terms.

    My questions are:

    1. Was he not supposed to keep the deposit in an interest bearing account? He obviously did not, since he does not have the money.
    2. Why does the Tribunal want mediation? They must just instruct him to pay the money!
    3. How long does the process by the Tribunal take? So far I am not impressed with their service.

    According to the Rental Housing Act this man is breaking the law. Do I have to get private legal advice to get this sorted? I know that this is not a lot of money, but I do not want him to get away with it. What if he does the same to his new tenants and I did nothing?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks

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    Hi this seems to be a common problem in SA. Landlords have the tenants at gunpoint here as they have the cash on hand. the secret is to go to your bank and set up a guarantee for the term of your lease, but it is a bit costly. you right he should not get away with it, one can try small claims court or get a good attorney.
    Previously I have always bought cleaning items including pool stuff etc, but now I don't the landlord must clean and give me the invoices then I ensure he uses that deposit. I had a painting of two walls which were weather facing walls which I had to paint and the landlord by verbal ensured me that he would pay my deposit back. he never did and what is more dissapointing is that the landlord was a registered estate agent, very sad indeed....... SA needs to look at the business ethics....

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    Platinum Member desA's Avatar
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    the secret is to go to your bank and set up a guarantee for the term of your lease, but it is a bit costly.
    Can you perhaps give more clarity on what exactly happens here - the process followed? What do you then provide to your landlord as guarantee?
    In search of South African Technology Nuggets(R), for sale & trading in South East Asia.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Maybe you could use the small claims court if the amount is small enough. Not sure what the limit is, I think they changed it a while ago but it would be a cheaper option if you can.
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    Hi One has the cash on hand to pay the deposit. instead of paying the deposit to the landlord you go to the bank and chat to your relationship manager and ask for the money to be invested in a money market account. this account is then used as a guarantee to the landlord via the bank. its the only way I do leases.....been caught to many times/

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    I agree this is a huge problem, especially when you move to a new property, the new landlord wants his/hers deposit, but the previos landlord screws you for everything and then holds out when it comes to returning your deposit. The reason you are renting to begin with is because you cant affrod to buy your own house or flat.

    I had a few landlords who still owe me money from my renting days, but this one ROB SHAPERS, who works for moore spence and jones, who bought a property in tunbridge , cowies hill, we moved out and returned to collect our deposit, he made my wife and i sit in the driveway for 3 hours waiting for him, he then turned around and told us that he didnt have the money and that he had to go to the bank to collect the money, so we went to the bank, he then told us he only had enough to pay us back some of the money, which he still owes us to this day, i realise this is a public forum, but i am gona say this anyway, every dog has his day, it has been about 10 years since the incident, his day will come and i look forward to it, people tend to forget silly little things they do, and dont realise how it impacts on other peoples lives. I am glad to see Georgie saw the light and dumped his sorry a$$.

    Thank goodness i dont have to put up with landlords and their excuses for why they cant refund deposits, 9 out of 10 cant pay back the deposits because they spend the money. There should be a fund with an attorney like a trust where all deposits are kept and returned with interest.

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    LAries (15-Oct-12)

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    Diamond Member tec0's Avatar
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    I do have some advice for you. In future find a lawyer firm that you can pay per month. It turns out they are a valuable recourse to have. Secondly always take photos before you move in and before you leave and make sure they are time stamped.

    Basically most land lords claim you left the place in a mess and they used the deposit to pay for all the “damages” and you end up getting less then half back “if you are lucky” In most cases they know where to look for the problems and take photos. Not that you did anything it is just they know where to look.

    Other than that go to a lawyer pay her/him for the hour and ask her/him what can be done and what the cost would be. You can use the e-mail as proof that the land lord didn’t keep the deposit as stipulated and maybe build the case around that.

    Also use that hour to talk to the lawyer about a “criminal case” if what he did is against the law and you have the e-mail as proof it “I think you will be able to report this as a crime to the police” again I don’t know so talk about your options. I do know if the police opens a case against the land lord then “normally” they take it to court “not you” then you just become witness. Again TALK TO A LAWYER and make an INFORMED decision based on that conversation.
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    LAries (15-Oct-12)

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I am all for the occasional brick through the windscreen routine.

    It may not get you your money back but it does even the score
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    I found a better way, after Mr Schapers caught me out, i learnt my lesson. The house i managed to secure after borrowing the balance of my next deposit from a good friend, i got smart .

    I made sure that the landlord gave me a set of keys for all the loclkable doors in the house, so when it was time to move out, i cleaned the house, locked every door on the property and put all the keys and remotes into a bag, which i kept with me.
    Changed the alarm code and contacted the armed response company and told them i was away for a week and nobeody was to enter the property, the day i moved out
    Changed the gate remote code the day i left.
    Disconnected the electricity at the meter and removed the bridge piece and put a sticker over the circuit breaker indicated account in the arrears.

    The landlord thought she was clever and laughed at me, threated me with all sorts of kak, bottom line i got a call from her 2 days later and she indicated that she had my deposit in cash as i requested and would do the swop asap. I got my deposit back and handed over the codes,remotes and keys. I dont think she realised the cost involved in calling out a locksmith to open the doors and the remote replacement costs.

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    I have to admit that there was a time that I was thinking along those lines..... but I cannot do it. All I can say is that I will not let this rest until their is some kind of solution.

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