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Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2455
Experience:  Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
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Good day. Our company provides utility services (pre-paid

Customer Question

Good day.
Our company provides utility services (pre-paid electricity) on behalf of a property management agent - to a shop in a shopping centre.
The property management agent cancelled the lease agreement with the tenant. The tenant now insist that we accept payment from him to recharge his pre-paid meter.
The tenant is of the opinion that we will be held liable for any losses he incurs if we don't recharge his account.
I am of the opinion that if the property management agent cancelled the lease agreement legally (regmatig) then we as a third party are not obliged to recharge his electricity.
I am not sure if the tenant can rely on spoliation as a remedy.
I am not a practicing lawyer , but I hope I have taken the correct approach.
Kind regards
Anton Joubert
B.Comm (Law) LLB
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 6 months ago.

Hi Anton

Thank you for your question. I will try to assist you in answering it today but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

I am of the opinion that you may very well face a spoliation application if you refuse to accept payment and supply electricity. You must remember that it is not for you to decide if the contract have been cancelled legitimately, but rather the court will have to decide that fact.

You should also ask yourself why you would want to get involved in a dispute between two parties when it really does not concern you. You may very well face a damages claim if you deny the tenant's request to supply electricity.

I know that you might be worried about your relationship with the property management agent but you should simply inform them of the reasons why you cannot get involved. Your mandate is simply to ensure a reliable and effective pre-paid electricity facility and not to enforce the managing agent's decisions or to get involved in disputes.

My advise would be not to open yourself up to risk and to sell the electricity to the tenant as you would any other tenant. If the managing agent want to evict them, all he has to do is apply to court for the order.

I hope this answered your question.

I know it will take an extra minute of your time to rate my service, but if you do not rate it, I do not get paid by the website so I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to rate my service positively. Feel free to ask further question here on this topic at no extra cost if you need more information.

Regards

Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 5 months ago.

Good afternoon,

This is just a quick note to follow up. Did you find my answer helpful? Is there anything else I can assist you with before you rate the service? Please note that I do not get paid if you do not rate.

Regards