Absconded Tenant Accounts vs Owners Responsibility

Dear Property Investors,

We have experienced that when Landlords rent out property landlords may not be to concerned for the tenant’s accounts that are opened with their local municipality.

As long as the tenant opens their account and pay a small deposit with Council for their consumables, most Landlords feel comfortable not to review the accounts on a regular basis, as it’s a common misconception that it has very little to do with them!

And this is where the problems start …

Should you not oversee on a regular basis that your tenant is settling the monthly account, even though it’s in his/her name with council, you as the registered owner of that property will still be held liable for your tenant’s account to be settled. And in most cases it will be too late to recover this from the tenant!

In a case of where you own a block of units, arrears accounts with Council can start accumulating to the extend, that when you want to sell your building and want to apply for clearance figures, you cannot sell your building due to outstanding debt or not make as much profit as you anticipated. This is mostly where Landlord’s get a very unwelcome surprise!

But what can you do?

Prescription: No this is not for medication for the small heart attack you just suffered. Prescription is the process to apply for old debt to be reduced or written off by Council. Of course Biza Bonke can assist with this process!

Council Deposit: Make sure Council has applied the deposit your tenant paid towards his outstanding debt. Don’t assume this process happens automatically is it doesn’t.

Tenant Deposit: Make sure you request a final copy from your tenant of his account before releasing his rental deposit paid. Remember your council will not assist once that tenant vacates as it’s not their problem.

Direct Billing: Keep the consumables account on your own name and bill the tenant directly along with his rent account. Yes you would have to collect the money from the tenant and pay over to your Council, but long term that little bit of extra effort will save you down the road.

Prepaid Meters: Check with council if you qualify for a prepaid meter or approach a private prepaid metering company if Council will not assist.

Monthly Proof: Request that your tenant send you his account monthly to ensure payment is made timeously or register that account on the internet to receive it monthly.

For Ekurhuleni go to www.e-siyakhokha.co.za

For City of Joburg go to www.joburg.org.za  

Thank you for taking the time to read through our News Letter and we are always here to assist contact us on 011 869 8581 or through our website www.bizabonke.com

Kind Regards

Biza Bonke