Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Repo NO NO!!!

So as everyone knows my little family of four will soon be five. We’ve been living in a flat by my folks up till now and our space was starting to get a bit cramped. So we took on the task of finding a bigger home for all of us.

We shopped around a bit, but in our price range and to suit our needs for the next 10 years, we had limited choices. 4 Bedrooms, Office/Study, Garden…. We looked at about 15 different places that either had granny flats, or studies. The rooms were all so small, the gardens not big enough, the cupboards iffy, the kitchens old, the bathrooms needed work… We were having no luck.

UNTIL, our estate agent brought us to what was basically our dream home, it was a non-negotiable R 100,000.00 less than what we were prepared to pay, and came with everything. Newish bathrooms, new kitchen with granite counters, 4 double sized bedrooms, a huge space I could use as the office, a heated pool, an entertainment room, even a massive laundry, lounge, dining room, big enough garden, a bar room, it was perfect. We put our offer in and it was accepted, we even got a 100% bond at an excellent interest rate.

We were very happy; we understood it was a repo house, and that the occupants were the previous owners. They however were friendly enough to agree to move as soon as we wanted to move in…. YA RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When we said we wanted to move in at end of July, we were told in no uncertain terms, they would not move for 120 days. There was no legal standing to this; we were also met with rudeness and hostility. Come on people, we didn’t repo your house, the bank did and it was kind of your fault.

So now we had a dilemma, the bank only covers water and electricity etc. on the property until date of transfer. If these people didn’t move by the time transfer went through, we would be in a positions of paying a bond, their water and lights, and rent for us to live somewhere while they live for free in our new home…

We went and saw an eviction attorney, and the news wasn’t great.

1. If a person is “USED” to having electricity, you by law are not allowed to cut it, even if they don’t pay the account.

2. Water is a basic human right and can also not be cut

3. Because the transfer had not yet gone through we could not start with formal eviction.

We were up the creek without a paddle. The Attorney did however agree to send a few letters to the “occupants” warning of the legal action we intended to take, and those letters worked. The “occupants” moved out on 1 September and since the transfer went through on 31 August, we were new home owners, to a lovely home, and we could start moving in.

We did move in, but what we found shocked us. The “occupants” had decided to remove every fixture they could that they thought was theirs to take. No legally fixtures become part of the property and may not be removed. They took the curtain rails, some built in cupboards, the control box for the electric fencing, the dstv dish, the built in braai and even security gates. Needless to say there are holes in the walls everywhere. We have also found an electrical nightmare that needs to be sorted out before we can open an electricity account.

Our Dream home has turned into a not so much dream, but we’ll sort it out.

All I can say is, don’t buy a repo house unless you can help and afford it, the bank are not much help when it comes to information or assistance when there are occupants in the property.

Cheers vir Eers

- Toppie se Vrou

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