South Africa Law

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I'm a renter and need legal advice. I negotiated utilities…

Customer Question
I'm a renter and...

I'm a renter and need legal advice

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

I negotiated utilities to be included in my monthly rent. The owner listed what would be inclusive. I signed the lease believing all had been included. Now I'm getting additional invoices on top of the agreed monthly rent.

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the property located?

Sunninghill, Sandton, South Africa

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I am a diplomat working for the UN

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: South Africa Law
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Landlord has two months deposit..
Answered in 13 hours by:
3/30/2018
Lawyer: CaseLaw, Attorney replied 3 months ago
CaseLaw
CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1,706
Experience: BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
Verified

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your initial question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

The first point that I must make is that you need to stick to the terms of the written lease agreement. THAT is what the parties agreed to, so if utilities are included in the rental amount, then they are included. If they are not included (i.e. the lease agreement says that you must pay for electricity / water separately) then the landlord is entitled to send you those invoices as proof and you must pay that.

BUT, if the written lease agreement does NOT accurately reflect the negotiations and the oral agreement, then you need to apply to court for "rectification" of the written lease agreement, OR you need to get the landlord to agree that the written lease agreement does NOT accurately reflect the negotiations and the oral agreement and then amend the written lease agreement.

Typically in South Africa, water and electricity is OVER and ABOVE the monthly rental.

For a landlord to agree to include those charges as part of the rental amount is, to me, a little strange. Especially since somebody can use thousands of Rands of water / electricity in a month and the landlord would then be expected to pay it himself.

If my answer hasn't provided you with enough clarity regarding your initial question, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - don't just rate my answer as "bad".

If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the STAR ratings or the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer!

Good luck and best regards,

CaseLaw

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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