Home"Tenant from Hell" Stories

Stories which will frighten even the most hardened agent.

 

Taking Estate Agent to Court

kiki2012
kiki2012
Posts: 2


2017/01/25
kiki2012
kiki2012
Posts: 2
A bit of context.
I hired an eviction attorney last year, who has since assisted me with a successful eviction. In parallel, I also lodged a complaint for misconduct against the Estate Agent with the Estate Agency Affairs Board of South Africa (EAAB) after it emerged (I have proof) that they placed a professional fraudster in my unit without any pre placement screening. This fraudster submitted fake payslips, fake banking statement (with a bank stamp), fake employment details, fake ID and the agent did not pick any of this up. It was an unmanaged lease so my guess is that their only concern was collecting commission. Needless to say, the tenant defaulted in the 2nd month and I conducted an investigation with his employer who confirmed that everything he had claimed was false (monthly income, job title, etc). The Estate Agent has pleased guilty to all four charges raised against them by EAAB (I have this in writing from EAAB as well as their sworn guilty plea). The EAAB hearing is scheduled for earlier this year, where sentencing will be passed. The Estate Agent has also been found to be operating without a fidelity fund certificate.



I have lost R60,000 in rental income plus legal costs. I was advised by EAAB to seek recourse through court since EAAB does not have the mandate to make a civil ruling. Before going to court, I offered the Estate Agent to settle in full out of court. They counter offered to pay me R5,000 provided I withdraw all charges against them through EAAB. I have not responded to their counter offer but instead, intent to take the matter to court to claim compensation for loss of rental income and legal costs incurred to date.


My question is, before I spend more money on lawyers (a) Do I have a legitimate case? (b) If I hire an attorney, how much as I looking at in terms of legal fees? (c) What timeframes am I looking at? (d) Or would I be better off (from a financial stand point) approaching the courts myself? (e) At what point should I approach the media to run a story on this aimed at exposing such practices in the industry?
edited by kiki2012 on 2017/01/25
<em>edited by kiki2012 on 2017/01/25</em>
Bratboy
Bratboy
Posts: 122


2017/01/26
Bratboy
Bratboy
Posts: 122
Hi Kiki

I feel for you.

I too have taken "estate agents" to court with success. It is so, the path is long but stay strong and see it through.

Yes you have a case, the issue is a matter of process and procedure.

I suggest you see the process through at the EAAB. you will obtain valuable information is "Sworn statement" form.

Upon the successful action at the EAAB you can with the transcripts and or documents from the EAAB go to the civil courts to obtain a damages claim.

Another alternative or even in addition to your civil action you can lay criminal charges against the individual. Upon their conviction you can then in terms of Section 300 of the Criminal Procedures Act claim for damages.

In the meantime, get an inventory of the offending agents assets and get an attachment order or interdict pending the outcome of your matter.
Marc Lunau
Marc Lunau
Posts: 420


2017/05/01
Marc Lunau
Marc Lunau
Posts: 420
Hi Kiki, wow what horrible case and sad to hear of your double misfortune in form of a fraudster tenant AND a non compliant agent. I hope next time you check the agent's credentials and FFC on the EAAB website first. I would be most interested to hear hat has happened since your post. Can you please enlighten us?

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