A TENANT who has been battling for the past four months to get her deposit back from her landlady will now be repaid.
Thandisi Muhau's landlady, Susan Jardine, offered to repay her deposit in instalments of R500 until the amount is fully paid up.
Consumer Line published an article under the headline "Tenant wants deposit back" in which we highlighted Muhau's problem to recover her deposit of R3 500 from Jardine.
Muhau had entered into a 12-month contract with Jardine, but terminated it before the expiry date.
She rented a flat in Braamfontein.
The contract was for 12 months, but Muhau terminated it after six months.
Muhau approached Consumer Line for help when Jardine would not repay her deposit with the accrued interest.
"The owner does not want to refund my money and has not explained the reason why I must forfeit it," Muhau complained.
She terminated the contract early because of financial constraints. She paid her rent for September though she knew she was not going to occupy the flat that month.
"I did not use the flat in September, but paid her the full rent for that month so she cannot say she was disadvantaged by my leaving because she found another tenant straight away," Muhau said.
She said nowhere in the contract does it state that she would forfeit the deposit if she left before the expiry of the contract.
Muhau paid a deposit of R3 500 and her monthly rent was R3500.
Jardine did not comment when Consumer Line approached her on Monday but she responded after that.
In a one-sentence e-mail to Consumer Line, Jardine wrote: "I will make a payment today of R500 and another one next month of R500."
This means it will take seven months before Muhau gets her full deposit back.
Muhau finds this arrangement unacceptable. She will ask the Rental Housing Tribunal for assistance.
The laws regulating the duties of tenants and landlords state that any amount paid before one moves into a property must be invested in an interest-bearing account for the benefit of tenants.
The Rentals Housing Act also states that the balance of the deposit and the interest must be refunded to a tenant not later than 21 days after the expiry of a lease.