Thursday, 30 April 2009

Intellectually challenged Landlord is always right?

When engaging or conversing with people, the one thing I detest the most is their intellectually challenged capability to reason and be reasonable or at least be close to the two.

As a result, people are called names such as stupid which most of the time, one is assumed to have noticed their intellectually challenged capability to reason.

Therefore, it is no surprise that it took take a few days to finish this article with the experience of my intellectually challenged Landlord, Clive, who could hardly reason or come close to reasoning; very arrogant, not quite a listener and only demands listened to when he speaks; and one who you may conclude that he may as well be as this rude and bossy to his spouse as he is to his tenants.

Arrogant, stupid, half-wit, and bossy best describe the type of a landlord Clive is. More so, when he says publicly that his relationship with his tenants is only because the tenants wanted help with accommodation he was able to provide, and that tenants should not get the impression or imagine him being their friends at all.

It all started two weeks prior to the end of March when Clive brought notices that as of April all rentals with increase by at least R100.00.

The notice was not welcomed by many tenants because it was issued two weeks prior to month end instead of at least a full month or two in advance as would have been or was expected of him.

As a result, many tenants opted to find alternative accomodation. The notice for price increases is not the only thing that contributed to tenants looking for alternative accommodation, but the landlord’s reckless statements which were threatening, where in the end, said “if you can’t afford it, give others a chance”. That was when we got the message loud and clear that we either had to pay or leave, not in peace but anger.

Why such increases?
Why Clive increased rental prices with that amount is the question every tenant asked. Furthermore, tenants asked why they were not given a month’s notice as is expected of the landlord and not just when he felt like it. This because many of these tenants have been living there for more than a year and more, while I stayed at the resident from December 2008.

Having lived at Clive’s rental rooms for more than 5 months at the time of writing, in my room only, I found the price increases unreasonable and unjustified because:

  • Which other rental rooms around the area did Clive benchmark with? And yes it’s understood he has a right to increase rental prices, and so do we have a right to know why the increase, and their justification.
  • The landlord failed, I think, to take into consideration that our rental area is mining-based, which means, because there are many contractors in the Platinum mine, Impala, many contractors are bound to retrench due to the effect of economic crisis on the mine and contractors themselves. Therefore, was the likelihood of many contract employees going home due to these retrenchments and their lack of affording the likes of Clive’s rental increases as a result, taken into consideration?
  • My room’s floor has cracks all over and not stay-a-friendly,
  • There are holes in the room when rats come in through
  • The roof's leaking when it rains,
  • On the roofing, when it’s windy one can hardly sleep because of the sound made by loose roofing,
  • No security: there are no security gates on each room. And if one’s room’s broken into during holidays, who’s responsibility is it to provide protection, but not guarantee it, in such instances?
  • The yard’s always dirty and not well maintained,
  • Toilets are not tidy, yet it's our responsibility as tenats to keep 'em clean at all times.

Therefore, if the above were looked into before informing tenants of price increases, then one would understand. But if they remain as they are, what then justifies their increases?

In all types of businesses, I have argued and maintained with other tenants, price increases should go hand in hand with quality services and maintenance especially in the property industry (rental or leasing). And if that will not happen, then as tenant we should do what Clive advised us to do "give others a chance" and see if they can live up to his price incremenatl standards or not.

When addressing us the other day, Clive said: "if you cannot afford it, then you must just give others a chance” which is exactly what I and a few other tenants are going to do month end, April. This, not because we cannot afford it, but because we do not and have not seen our money’s worth.

Whether we customers as tenants are always right is another thing. But we may be right, given problems already elaborated on before, that we “give others a chance” because we certainly do not see our money’s worth.

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