Sunday, 06 December 2009

Ganging up against the landlord

It has been more than eight months now since one lived in this new residence. In May this year, after a fallout with my former landlord who at the time I thought to be "Intellectually challenged" for his unreasonableness, rudeness and not-thoughtfulness and other reasons, I moved out to another residence whose landlord later I later came to know as soft-spoken and one who takes his time to deliver on his promises.

I moved from the previous residence for, more than anything, the landlord increased his prises without consulting the residents or tenants as is expected of him and up on querying, he said if we could not pay, we should then give others a chance which is exactly what myself and other who moved out did.

I looked for a new place to stay which was not difficult given that new residences were being built just closer to where one was staying at the time. And little did one know what we now know.

To cut a long story short, after moving, especially when it rained, we had leaks while at first it was the overloaded electricity box which was later fixed. With leaking rooms – and we still have such here and there – it took months for the landlord to come and fix them and when he did, he unfortunately skipped some of them or that they became known and therefore could not be fixed at the time to date.

All tenants last week had a meeting and agreed to hire someone who would be able to clean the yard and level the sand that was hipped in front of our rooms without informing the landlord as was expected of us.

This, we agreed, was because he could not deliver on his promises and in time and was somewhat hesitant in delivering these promised. More than that, the yard was so dirty we even felt dirty ourselves when leaving for work from such a yard. It, we further agreed as tenants at the residence, did not quite resemble us in way we would expect to be resembled in that for it was dirty and disorganized – people would therefore regard us as such. Hence this decision without informing the landlord let alone calling him to let him know what was going on, that we would rather find someone else ourselves.

The following day, we found someone who would come and do the job. Because the resident consists of seven residences – we then agreed for each of us to take fifty-rand from our rental fee and give it to our worker. We wanted this done before the landlord could come for collection of his rental fee so that he should ask himself questions when he sees the yard clean as he would be very well be aware and know that he never got anyone to do that, and instead he should wonder what exactly happened and who did that. Fortunately, the worker did as we had asked of him and we paid him within two days, despite my scepticism of him at first for I wanted him to do a certain part on the yard near my room before paying him in full.

After some thinking I realised what we had done was wrong on the part of the landlord. This was despite our agreement that he, the landlord, in fact was to blame for he drove us into doing this because of his not delivering of his promises and in time.

I informed other tenants of my thoughts that we should rather call our landlord and inform him of our decision. Though they we surprised by my about-turn, they finally agreed with me that we should call the landlord to have a meeting with him before he comes to does his collection. This was because, wherever he maybe, he did not expect to get his rental fees in half as we had made it. More than that, as I personally felt at the time and despite his reluctance on delivery, we should have told him anyway so that he does not get the impression that we want to do as we please in his residential property.

After being made to speak to him over the phone and tell him what we had done at the residence which will very much affect him, directly or not, he agreed and the following day we had a meeting.

Although this time, unlike the phonecall I had made to him the previous day, I gave others a chance to spill the bean despite having done that at the time when we spoke over the phone on the matter.

Surprisingly, he was not upset or angry as one had initially thought he would be, given our decision. Instead, he was impressed and thankful for the initiative we had taken against him as tenants and the fact that we at least informed him even when it was the last minute-thing before he came for his collection. But generally, he was impressed.

When we told him of our reason for informing him and what we had thought he would react.

However this ganging up against the landlord worked, it still left our rooms leaking on a raining day. Even on this meeting, like other previous days and meetings, he promised to fix them and did not. It is not clear at the moment how we would go about ganging up against him about the leaking rooms though, but hopefully, something will come up in the near future. And chances of that happening and soon are quite high.


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