Thursday, 9 October 2014

Nightmare on Berta Road

We have been staying here on this small holding off Berta Road for over a year and a half now after being approached by a friend of mine’s ex-partner, no names mentioned, the rent was good with electricity and water included and on the surface the move here seemed ideal. There was a small construction business and four cottages on the property along with a swimming pool and tennis court but little did we know that the owner had other ideas.

Little did we know that our landlord’s construction business was going down and that he decided to refocus his business from the building industry to low cost accommodation. He started by converting his storage containers into rentable rooms with communal kitchens and showers. Next was converting the existing cottages as they became vacant from 2 bedrooms into as many rooms as he could and at the same time the building of smaller rooms started. When we moved in there was only about 10 people living on the two hectare property, now there is about 40 with more rooms getting built to nearly double this amount.

To make more space for the extra rooms, the landlord has moved what is remaining of his construction company onto the tennis court in front of our cottage and this is our view now, pretty isn’t it? And to make matters worse he has put in pre-paid electricity meters ignoring the fact that electricity was included in our rent as per our contract but this doesn’t faze our landlord.

After sparingly using as little electricity as we could we worked out that last night we used R200 electricity. Yes this will put our estimated electricity bill at R6000 per month which is nearly double our rent. I am at wits end as to what to do as it seems our landlord doesn’t care. We want to buy a house again sometime next year but now we find ourselves back in the market to rent a 2 bedroom house or cottage that allow pets. While I look around, take a moment to enjoy our nightmare view from our front door, is this worth R10,000 per month?

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