Monday, March 10, 2008

Oh To Be Landlords ...

Eep. So I just realised that today is the 10th March. The 2008 Bloggies are being announced today (I assume much later my time since the awards are actually taking place in Texas). Still, it's a marginally big deal. No, countries will not be plundered and stock markets won't crash. But my self-esteem just might :) Kidding. I have no delusions ... Hell I'm just super thrilled to have received the exposure I have from being a finalist. But how good will it feel to beat Tertia ... words cannot describe it :)

And now onto another more annoying issue ... Tenants. So Bean and I own a property (that we're trying to sell ... buyers?). We have tenants. Tenants who used to be good. Tenants who are now BAD.

They have been consistently late with their rental payment since November 2007. February's rent only got paid on the 29th ... that's a whole month late! I got a lawyers letter drawn up last week saying that basically if they paid the rent late again within the next 12 month or if March's rent was paid later than the 7th (last Friday) we'd be evicting them.

Needless to say I'm still waiting for the Rent. And this whole eviction thing is easier said than done, I'm learning. I now (after discussing with Bean, if he ever deigns to communicate :P He has been completely unhelpful during this entire process!) have to draft a End-of-Lease Notification and have it delivered. After that they have to leave the premises within the stipulated time. All fine up till here ...

If they don't leave the premises things get nasty ... I have to find myself some lawyers to start the actual Eviction Order. This can take up to 3 - 4 months, depending on the courts. It will also cost Bean & I R8000 (yes, Eight Thousand Rand) upfront deposit for an unopposed eviction (where the Tenants don't try to fight it). Or R12000 for an opposed eviction. Eep.

This is madness .... we own the property, we are paying the bond off monthly ... in blood (with South Africa's 14.5% interest rate) and it's now possibly going to cost me a fortune to kick these people out. Where are those people who break knee-caps and how does one acquire their services?

Sigh, you can never win when there are lawyers involved. They cost a fortune. I'm now interviewing for decent lawyer friends who will do me free legal favours in the future :) Anyone based in South Africa may apply.

So here I sit watching my January plan fly out the window and land with a thud on the road below (as a dying stain on the tar it makes for a pretty picture). After this experience, even with a friggin lease, would I really consider a) buying more property in South Africa considering the current political climate and b) renting it out since the law is clearly not on *my* side.

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