The Gods of Real Estate: Part Two

It’s been a while since I blogged about my flat/apartment woes. Last I wrote, my current abode was being sold and I was in a quandary (oh, I do love that word) about whether I should stay on through the sale, possibly risk getting booted out next year or move on to yet another flat. I chose the first. I stayed. And yet again, I learnt a few things about the South African rental law. And my flat.

‘Huur gaat voor koop’

This beautiful little law means that you – as the lessee tenant – are protected in case of a sale. If you have a (preferably written) lease agreement in place, your current landlord cannot kick you out just to sell the flat. Your new landlord can’t either. If you have a notice clause period built into your contract, then they can still activate that. But you won’t be thrown out onto the street all of a sudden. Well you may be, but then you sue them.

My flat was a massive fire hazard

Delightful, no? As part of the sale going through, I had to have a plumbing and electrical inspection done on the flat. Plumbing was fine (as I fixed the water pressure issue out of my own account earlier in the year). But it turns out that none of my plugs were earthed. Same goes for the geyser. So I could have blown myself up / electrified myself at any point. FUNSIES. Note to self: ask for electrical inspection records before you rent the next flat.

Viewings aren’t all awful

I had only two viewings before my apartment was (luckily!) snapped up. Unlike last time, it wasn’t an every Sunday, 12-4 affair. It was one hour on a Thursday and, apart from some kids that climbed all over my bed, it was fairly painless. Guess the Real Estate Gods decided to throw me a bone. A small one.

Sales Take Forever

I want to pay my Jan rent as soon as I get that paycheck (mid-Dec, sob) or else I know I’ll freak out about spending the money and then die of anxiety and panic. But I still don’t know who will be the owner at that point. Because the sale is still going through (two months on!)

As a young woman, it often seems that others (even older women!) assume I can be pushed around bulldozed over. But I refuse to be bullied. If you’re in a situation where you’re landlord seems be dodgy, research your rights. Stand firm. Bit back.


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