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Thread: How can I get an estate agent to pay me my rental amount?

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    How can I get an estate agent to pay me my rental amount?

    I am renting my residential property in Tshwane (Pretoria) through a real estate agent, who collects rentals on my behalf from my tenant and deposit it to my bank account.

    I am in another province, 2000 miles away, it happens that I want to release the investment and move to another investment in onother city, I then inform the agent to let my tenant know that I am realeasing the property, meaning I am selling it.

    Ever since I told the agent those words, he decided to keep on collecting the rental amount from the tenant but not depositing it to my bank account and kept on lying by telling me that the tenant is giving him hard time, does not want to pay, and eventually he stops depositing the money at all.

    I tried to phone the agent several times, by the look of things he does not use the same cell phone number any more, writting him registered letters, which kept on coming back to me, meaning maybe he ignores them or he gave me an incorrect postal address.

    I need your your help, I do not have a lawyer & the money that he owes me is morethan the limit value for me to report the matter to small claims court.

    What can I do in a situation like this, I want my money?

    Thank You.

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    How much money have you been short payed?
    You could still use the small claims court for the matter at least for the maximum allowable if not for the full amount. I'm sure this would be your cheapest option.
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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Firstly small claims limit was recently increased to R12000, not sure if that helps.
    The second issue, and I am not 100% sure on small claims procedure, but I refer to High court and magistrate court rules, each payment is classified as a seperate claim. In other words if my rent owed is R3000 and the tenant owes 6 months, even though the total is R18 000 and over the jurisdictional limit, each seperate claim is under the limit.
    I do however think that this process is not followed in the small claims court.

    I would suggest you contact the tenant directly and get them to pay the rent to you directly, in the mean time, whilst you try and sort this out.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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    madonsdu (27-Mar-11)

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    Have you approached the Estate Agency Affairs Board or any trade organization they might belong to?
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    first things first.

    this is a non-legal response & to our members with legal backgrond,please correct. I would immediately address a registered letter to the estate agent releasing him as your represntative. I would instruct him not to collect any more rentals on your behalf. Address a 2nd registered letter to the tenant advising him that as of immediately the estate agent no longer represents you & no further rentals are to be paid to him.Also mention that any rentals paid to agent after date of your instructions would not release him from the rentals that are due & advise how he is to pay further rentals,for example into your bank account.

    now look at all the legal options you have in recovering moneys paid to agent & which were not paid over to you.

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    madonsdu (27-Mar-11)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You know what bugs me - this sort of thing is happening more and more. People hanging on to other people's money.

    In days gone by it would be out with the tar and feathers, or a baseball bat.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    You can go the legal way (takes forever)
    You can go to the Estate Agents Board (he probably isn't registered and they are a toothless dog)
    or
    You can tell him unless the money is in your account within 24 hrs you are laying a charge with the police for fraud/theft and do it.

    Also check out the lease document you signed with him as the leasing agent and make sure there was no clause saying that 'if you wanted to sell the property during the lease period you had to do it through him or pay him commission', that may be why he is holding the cash.
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    R12000, my challenge in using small claims court in this case would be the delivery address, where they must sent the summons, as my registered letters that were addressed to the agent, all came back to me.

    Thank for your advice, I will try the small claims court.

    Dumi

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    Diamond Member AndyD's Avatar
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    The estate agent must have a registered company address, if mail is returned from that address then I'm guessing that in the eyes of the legal system it has been received.
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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    Remember delivery address, is served not posted. So the "art" of not collecting is negated. You probably have a domicillum for service in the original agreement.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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