Dear People of ProBonoMatters
I think my former landlord has cheated me out of my deposit. I just vacated a property which I rented for close to three years for about R10 000 a month. I had paid in about R10 000 in deposit on occupying the property three years ago. I understand the principle behind this deposit, being security for the landlord in case I mess up the property. I kept the property in good condition over the past three years and actually did some repairs following a couple of minor damages caused on different occasions of my three years occupation. The property was intact when I handed the keys back to the owner except for the paint on the inner walls. The inner walls of the property had gotten dirty over the past three years and clearly needed to be repainted. On inspecting the property just before I vacated it, the landlord pointed to the dirty walls as an item for my account. I objected but he went on to withhold my deposit, ostensibly to take care of the walls. My objection is based on the reasoning that this particular painting job and mainly its timing form part of the natural responsibility of the landlord to maintain his property. Had I stayed longer on this property, I would have called in the landlord to do painting on the wall as part of his duty to keep the property in a state fit and proper for a tenant. I think my former landlord owes me R10 000. Am I wrong?