3 May 2017
Phasing out of tenants’ accounts from 1 July 2017
Property owners may or may not be aware of the notice issued by Ekurhuleni below:
The Municipal Debt Specialist has been asked by many of our clients, property owners and professionals in the industry to possibly look at this matter and assist where possible, along with its implications.
We have been asked questions like:
- is this legal and lawful,
- how will this affect the terms of my lease as it somewhat contradicts the terms of the contract,
- how do I work out how I’m supposed to invoice my tenant when they might leave the premises earlier or later than Ekurhuleni billing period,
- do I have to incur extra cost to employ meter reading companies to accurately work out the amounts so that I cannot be accused of profiting on reselling electricity,
- why have I in effect become a debt collector of the Municipality…etc
Before we make an official stance on the above situation we would like to consider the various aspects surrounding this and we are appealing to the public and any interested parties to please email us with your concerns such as the examples of the above questions which we have received. Once we have a fully comprehensive list of examples of complexities we will advise the public accordingly.
Please watch this page for our official update.
With effect from 1 July 2017, Service accounts will only be opened in the name of the property owner, and not the tenant.
Existing tenant account will be phased out over a period of 18 months by the City of Ekurhuleni. This process has been implemented by various other metros.
The benefits of phasing out tenant accounts for the property owner are:
• Minimising risk of accumulated services debt in respect of property.
• Owner has full control and management of services rendered to and used on property.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
As from 1 July 2017, new residential accounts will only be opened in the name of registered property owner.
The phasing out of tenant accounts will be done over a period of 18 months, as from 1 July 2017 and property owners will receive listing of linked tenant accounts.
With existing tenant accounts, the property owners must arrange to close linked tenant accounts within 18 months and ensure that all monies owed by tenants in respect of services accounts are paid or transferred to owners account.
Should the owner not arrange for closure of tenant accounts within the stipulated period of 18 months, services to property may be disconnected. Reinstatement of services will result in the owner being required to enter into a new service level agreement and increased deposit will be raised.
Residential tenant accounts will only be allowed where the person occupying the property qualifies for indigent support in respect of the Indigent Support Policy and administrators of child-headed households. This also applies in cases where accounts are under legal administration, liquidation, sequestration or deceased estates.
Business tenant accounts, on written request by property owner, will be allowed in respect of business properties as reflected in the published valuation roll. This includes government, provincial or municipal debtor groups, and registered indigents and child headed households.
Detailed phasing out process and criteria is available from your Customer care Centre and comments with regards to the process may be submitted in writing to the Divisional Head: Revenue, Private Bag X66, Benoni, 1500, before 15 June 2017.