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Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2403
Experience:  Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
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We recently bought our new home and moved in 2 days after

Customer Question

We recently bought our new home and moved in 2 days after registration had taken place. This was to allow the tenants 2 days for their lease period to end. The leasing agent came and did an outgoing inspection of the property. He confirmed that the house was not left in the same state as what it was when the tenants moved in and his actual words were it is disgusting. e.g. things were ripped out the walls, the place was so filthy, cables and wires were cut, electrical boxes broken. For registration to take place the Seller had to issue a Electrical Compliance certificate. (We did offer to get our electrician in to do this - but the email from the agent said they would sort it out). On moving in we found that the electrical state of the house is in shambels. We have in the mean time found out that the electrical certificate issued is invalid. To clean the house and to get the house inline with he electrical standards required - it has cost us R4000 for the clean and R7500 for the electrician to date. Can we claim this back from the estate agent? The estate agent has not refunded the tenant his deposit as he said the house was left in a shambles.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 4 months ago.

Good morning,

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.

You will certainly have a claim, but not against the agent. Your claim will be either against the seller or the tenant. The seller is liable to deliver the home to you in the same state is was when you made the offer to buy the house. If the tenant caused damage to the property, then the damage deposit can and should be utilised to fix any and all problems. If the damage deposit is not sufficient, then the balance can be claimed from the tenant.

In the end, that should be a dispute between the seller and the tenant. This is actually a very difficult set of facts. You see the seller's liabilities ended the day of registration. In order for you to claim anything from the seller, you will have to be able to prove that any damage was caused prior to registration.

You decided on your own, to allow the tenant further occupancy for two more days after registration. If I were to act for the seller, I would basically put you to prove that the damages did not occur in those two days ie. when the tenant moved out he destroyed all those things you mentioned.

On registration you took over the risk attaching to the property. Whatever happened after registration, will be for your risk and benefit. \

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.


Customer: replied 4 months ago.
What about the electrical Certificate of Compliance?
We have photos of what the place looked like when we put in the offer as well as when we moved in - there is a vast difference.
The agent is sitting with the deposit - they have not paid it back to the seller or the tenant?
If you were to act on behalf of they buyer - ME - what would be the correct approach?
Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 4 months ago.

You must get the Seller to cede any rights he may have had in terms of the lease agreement to you. That way you can claim the deposit from the agent.

With regards ***** ***** electrical COC: The seller's only responsibility is to provide you with a valid certificate of compliance. If the certificate is invalid for some reason, he will not have done what he was supposed to. The question again, would be why is the certificate invalid? Is it due to things the tenant broke after the COC was issued? Or, did the electrician not do his job properly. If the electrician just issued a certificate without repairing any faults, then you can hold the electric***** *****able. You mentioned that you found out that the COC was not valid. How did you find this out and why is it not valid?


Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 4 months ago.

Good morning,

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.