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Thursday Jan 17, 2013

Pretoria flat dwellers lash body corporate

Tenants at the Indwe Residence in Sunnyside have expressed anger at the way they are being treated by the property's body corporate.

The residents claim they were "treated like dogs" by the body corporate, which sold the block of flats in Relly Street, to Comocap (Pty) Ltd last year.

"We are not against moving. We are unhappy about the way we were treated by the body corporate and the new owners of the building," the residents told the Pretoria News.

The tenants said they were given a month's notice to vacate their units, which, they say, are being converted into student dormitories.

"Where are we going to find accommodation at such short notice? We would've appreciated it if we'd been given at least three months' notice to leave. They are treating us like dogs," one tenant said.

The residents said they had been against the sale of the block of flats from the onset.

"It is not true that all the tenants and owners of the flats agreed to the sale of the block of flats. We indicated we were against the sale, but the body corporate would not listen to us," the tenant said.

The Pretoria High Court has put a stop to the refurbishment of the block of flats after pensioner Maria Theresia Peter lodged an application against the process.

Judge Ephraim Makgoba ruled that the future of the block of flats and what is in store for the tenants needed to be "properly ventilated to all tenants".

The residents said the body corporate had failed to collect levies from tenants due to poor management. "With proper management, this place could have been managed," a tenant said.

One of the residents said in a letter that the eviction notice sent out by the body corporate "is embedded in illegality and so to respond would have dignified the illegal process and made us acquiescent to it.

"However, with you proceeding with your unlawful actions by proceeding to hire a contractor to commence with renovations in anticipation of your illegal evictions, we have felt the need to urgently address our concerns," she said.

The body corporate had no legal right to evict tenants without a court order and an appropriate notice being given to the residents, she said.

Bessie de Jager, who manages the block of flats on behalf of the body corporate, declined to comment. She said she had referred the tenants' complaints to the trustees.

Pretoria News

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