Renting can be frustrating. I once rented an apartment owned by a landlord whose cat roamed the house, even though I’m allergic. All because I didn’t look at the details in the contract. I had already paid the first month’s rent and a deposit which the landlord informed me I stood no chance of getting back.I ended up spending the entire month on a friend’s couch. But I’m not the only one who has a crazy rental story. Here are a few from other young people around the country.
“My landlord left the country”
“My landlord skipped the country with my 2-month rent deposit. The lease never materialised and, although I lodged a complaint with the rental tribunal, my landlord got off scot-free.” – Ketta Jali (30), Johannesburg
A haunted house
“I experienced extraterrestrial life in the apartment I rented. I would wake up in the middle of the night with the kitchen tap running and, in the height of summer, my room would get extremely cold. Things around the house would also disappear.” – Lindelwe Mvundla (22), East London
“My landlord was a sex freak”
“I became aware that my landlord was on the National Register for Sex Offenders (NRSO) list two months after signing the lease. He came around the house a lot and would ask about anything from my breasts to the weather. I started to record every encounter that took place with my landlord and used this to get out of the lease agreement.” – Lebo Mncayi (30), East London
“I live in a sex house”
“At the outset, it seemed ideal: located in Observatory (an artsy suburb in Cape Town that resembles a scene from Girls) and the type of liberalism that occurs in fictionalised settings. The house was known as The Sex House. The sexual activities with my housemates began to interfere with my studies and relationships. It got too much.” – Welile Jezile (early 20s), Cape Town
“The lease was in my boyfriend’s name”
“I made the fatal mistake of being comfortable enough to allow my boyfriend to have the lease in his name. When we broke up he changed the locks and I could not access the house. He also sent my clothes in black refuse bags to my friend’s house where I had decided to stay.” – Fatima Dlulane (24), Cape Town
“I catfished a rental agent”
“I saw an advertisement for an apartment online and responded, however the rental agency said that it was already taken. I suspected something was not right so I created a fake email address and used a white-sounding name. The agent responded immediately to say I could view the apartment.” – Nhlanhla Ntlangothi (26), Cape Town
These are some of the crazy occurrences one encounters in search of a place to call home.
So before signing on the dotted line make sure you are well aware of your rights. The Rental Housing act, 1999, should point you in the right direction.
Has anything crazy ever happened to you while you were renting? Share your story with us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.