Family left destitute after landlord allegedly removes roof from home
Cape Town - A Lotus River grandmother says she has literally been left without a roof over her head after her landlord removed the roof of her rented house in order to kick her out.
Faiza Rose, 54, claims for the past two weeks she has been forced to find shelter for her granddaughters, Tharwah and Taaibah, with friends in Hanover Park after she was illegally evicted.
She says in the spat over her separate entrance in Zeekoevlei, the landlord allegedly tried to force them out by removing the roof and doors, leaving them exposed to the elements.
“Me and my daughter-in-law got into an agreement with the owner to pay R6500 rent a month,” she explains.
“There was no lease, but it was on a month-to-month basis.
“There was a personal problem and my daughter-in-law left my son, Shamier, 31, and her children.
“My son owes the landlord R1500 for July, and in August Shamier withheld the rent because we wanted the landlord to carry out maintenance (as the roof was leaking).”
She says her son had made plans to sell his car to pay the landlord the outstanding money, but they got a fright on 13 August when they returned home to find the roof gone.
“We complained about the leaking ceiling and on that day I heard someone on the roof and thought ‘OK, they’re coming to fix it’. It was bad and mouldy.
“But when I came back, I saw the roof was gone. I got such a shock and all our stuff was affected.
“Now I live by my friends in Hanover Park, my granddaughters and my son sleep in his car and by friends.”
The grandmother took the landlord to the Rental Housing Tribunal who ordered him to fix the property and let them return.
But the 52-year-old man, who asked not to be named, says the grandmother is being “ridiculous” as she is not the legal tenant.
“The agreement was with the son and the daughter-in-law, but she took me to the tribunal,” he says.
“At the end of May with the complaints about the roof which they knew about before they moved in, I gave him the deposit of R6500 back and told them to rather look for another place.”
He says the family continued to stay on the property and owed him rent for July and made an agreement to pay him R13 000 for a new deposit and the outstanding rent.
“Then I saw they’re packing boxes, so I assumed they were going to live somewhere else,” says the owner.
“It is not about the money, but I spoke to her and she knew that we were going to do the roof.
“It could have been done in two days if they paid me the money.
“My own expensive cupboards are in that place, why would I want it to get damaged?
“She is making me sound ridiculous when I was fixing the roof she was complaining about.
“She knew they were coming to do the roof, I did not evict her.”
But Faiza denies this saying: “There was no date given to us, we were all taken by surprise. We knew there would be maintenance, but not that the entire roof would be removed.”