Friday, 21 June 2013

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1
We just want to know if it is lawful to include a clause in a rental agreement that the house you are renting has to be repainted at your expenses at the end of your lease. We feel that this is highly irregular because why are you asked to pay a deposit upfront. And the house was rented for 8 years with very little wear and tear to it as it was elderly people living in it.

And after it was painted this person had the audacity to say that it was not painted to her satisfaction. This house was not painted properly in the first place when we moved in they actually gave it a quick coat of paint and you could still see the cement wall in some places as well as the ceiling.

Could you please advise as to whom we can contact in connection with this?

Not only is this perfectly legal it’s also perfectly normal. Every lease I’ve ever signed or seen has had a clause exactly like this. It’s normal practice.

I can understand your frustration at having to repaint the property when it was originally handed over to you with poor paintwork but that was the time to raise the issue, when you moved in. It’s also normal practice when you move into a property to compile a “snagging list” of defects for the landlord to repair. The lease probably includes something about this as well. If the landlord then doesn’t fix them you have a written record that they were present at the outset.

The deposit you pay when you move in is there to protect the landlord against any damage the tenant might have caused that they didn’t fix while they were there. Perhaps even for a poor quality repainting?

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

In 2009, l got a loan of P5,000. An arrangement was made for a bank stop order of P1,580.74 each month from July 2009, for 9 months. It was done up to 27 May 2010. I changed my bank account to another one. When l did they called me to say l was still owing them and should pay them. In cash l paid P2,400. l was told l had paid up.

That was the last time l heard from them until last month (22 May 2013) when they called to claim P7,136.58 from me. I went to their office and was given a hard copy showing the total history of my payments.

I just wonder why they have been so quiet for all this long. I feel a bit cheated. Give me advice please.

Something’s not right here.

Firstly I’m confused about the dates. A 9-month loan starting in July 2009 should have finished in March 2010, not May. Can you confirm the exact dates? Did you fail to make any payments?

Secondly I’m confused about the amounts you paid. 9 monthly installments at the rate you mention come to a total of P14,267 which by anyone’s standards is a HUGE amount of money to pay for a P5,000 loan. Add on top the extra P2,400 you say you paid and I make that an annual interest rate of 310%.

And now they want another P7,136? What’s going on here?

I suggest that you send us the statement you got from them and we’ll go through it and see what can be done and what’s really going on here. We might need to remind them of the “in duplum” rule which says that at the time a debt is settled, the interest may not exceed the capital outstanding. You’d think a lender would know that by now? They might also need to be reminded about the existence of NBFIRA!


Dudu and Thapelo at Medical Imaging Botswana at Gaborone Private Hospital. Our reader says that they “helped make what could have been a hideous three hour session of treatment for my four year old boy a lot more bearable. They were so good with him and made it easier on me!”

Also “Dr Cell” in the Main Mall for their “warm service”.

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