Ruth Thabane from Pretoria bought a flat through an estate agent and a lawyer. She went to see the flat before buying it and it was fine apart from the bathroom and bedroom windows and cabinets which were damaged and the walls which were dirty.
After the flat was registered in her name the lawyers sent Ruth the legal documents. She collected the keys from the agency, Huurkor. When she went to the flat she found the front door handle was removed and the back door was open and broken.
All the plugs had been removed and the flat was in a terrible state. Ruth was also not supplied with the keys for the sliding back door. She enquired from Huurkor, they said the person who supplied the electrical certificate returned the keys after the inspection but they didn’t the set of keys were incomplete and that the plugs had been removed.
Ruth asked for an inspection report but to date she has not received it. Huurkor referred her to a lawyer who gave her the details of the man who issued the electrical certificate. Ruth has still not moved into the flat as there is no electricity but she has been for a flat she can’t use since December. Neither Huurkor nor the estate agent is responding to her emails or calls.
WHAT I DID
I spoke to the lawyers at SCORPION LEGAL PROTECTION SERVICES to get professional legal advice.
Ruth needs to find out how the property was transferred to her because she is required in terms of the law, to be in possession of the original compliance certificate. It is possible that the electrical certificate is not legal and valid, or that an illegal one was used to transfer the property to her name.
She can report the estate agents to the Estate Agency Affairs Board at www.eaab.org.za. In terms of the Consumer Protection Act Ruth has not been able to use the property and she has the right to demand that Huurkor repair the property as she is not the one who hired the person to do the inspection for the compliance certificate.
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