Levy debt prompts sale after tenants dodge paying

Levy debt prompts sale after tenants dodge paying

“Their lawyers’ fees were added to my debt and now I owe over R240,000 and most of it is from legal fees. Whenever I enquire about the legal fees, I would not get a clear answer, even on their statements,” said Ngono. 

In July last year, Ngono owed R164,112.20 and by December it had ballooned to R217,569, with levies of R1,187 per month including two amounts of R5,497 and R3,000 as legal fees for that month. By March this year, the bill had swelled up to R240,571, with a debt accumulation of R23,000 in three months. 

Rudo Mhiribidi, from a law firm representing Whitfields, said: “We cannot comment regarding Mr Ngono’s alleged ‘complaint’ regarding the levies charged as we are unaware of such a complaint. However, a detailed levy statement is emailed to Mr Ngono by Whitfields, our client’s managing agent, every month clearly setting out the charges incurred to the account and how the arrear amount owing has been calculated.” 

Mhiribidi said they were not aware of payment arrangements between Ngono and their client.

“Our office appears to have no record of Mr Ngono requesting a payment arrangement from our client nor our office providing any payment arrangement to Mr Ngono on behalf of our client. Please be advised that we act under strict instructions from our client and cannot simply propose and/or accept payment arrangements on their behalf without instruction. Further, our client is under no legal obligation whatsoever to entertain a payment arrangement with any debtor for amounts that are legally due and owing.”

In July 2019, Ngono approached the Legal Practice Council about Whitfields’ lawyers apparently “unfair” conduct and was told “request the law firm to produce their bill of costs to a taxing master at court”.

In the same year, he also approached the National Association of Managing Agents and he was advised to seek legal representation at his own cost. 

“I have come to a decision to sell the property and have promised to pay for the arrears using the sale proceeds. I have done this against my will because the levy amounts are escalating at an alarming rate with these unreasonable costs attached,” Ngono told Sowetan Consumer. 

Original Story by www.sowetanlive.co.za

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