File photo: African News Agency (ANA)
File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

Social housing tenant wins case over exorbitant rent

By Dominic Adriaanse Time of article published Oct 15, 2018

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Elderly social housing tenant John Adams has claimed victory over his landlord, non-profit company (NPC) Communicare, that has been ordered to backdate his rental increase from 2010 at the inflation rate.

The 59-year-old Ruyterwacht resident has been battling the NPC since 2010 following its attempt to evict him and his family from their home for failure to pay “exorbitant” rental fees over several years.

Adams said Communicare has been trying to evict him from his George Street house since he began raising maintenance issues.

“I have been unable to work after suffering three heart attacks. My wife has glaucoma and is a diabetic, while my daughter is unemployed and just had a baby. 

"This victory has meant so much for us and the rest of the tenants here, who live off Sassa and are facing eviction because of the high rental fees,” he said.

Adams said there were about 16 other tenants who would now be able to challenge their own evictions.

The Western Cape Housing Tribunal has ruled that Communicare rental increases for 2011 (47%), 2012 (27%), 2013 (17%) and 2014 onwards at 10% were exorbitant.

It ruled that not only should the increases be backdated but they should be based on the consumer price index inflation rate from 2010 onward.

His advocate, Winston Erasmus, said: “This decision is historical and revolutionary and has never been done anywhere in South Africa.”

Communicare did not respond to questions before the deadline.

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