Tenant gets money back
A LANDLORD cannot refuse to refund a tenant' s security deposit without a valid reason.
But Franginie Tsotsotso had to enlist the services of Consumer Line because her landlady refused to refund her deposit as well as the interest she was entitled to.
The mother of two says she entered into a lease agreement with Adelle Billing in 2008 for five years.
Tsotsotso's lease was terminated because a relative of her landlady had returned from abroad.
"They had no place to stay, so I was made the sacrificial lamb and evicted at the end of August," she says.
Tsotsotso says she could not find alternative accommodation.
"She was planning to withhold my deposit without a valid reason," Tsotsotso says.
She says Billing accused her of not paying her September rent after her stay on the premises was extended until the end of September.
Tsotsotso's lease agreement states that rent has to be paid in advance on the last day of each month.
This meant she had to pay, for example, her January rent on the last day of December.
"Billing claims I owe her rent because she wants to keep my deposit," Tsotsotso says.
Just a few hours after Consumer Linestepped in Billing agreed to refund Tsotsotso's deposit with interest.
Initially Billing had refused to return the money because she said Tsotsotso owed her a month's rent.
Billing also only wanted to refund Tsotsotso's deposit plus 1,2% interest, instead of the current 5,5% that had accrued over the duration of the lease agreement.
She later greed to repay what was due to Tsotsotso.