Battle to sell flat

Philippe Girouard

My mother bought an apartment in The Rathfelder, in Diep River, in December 2014. There was a delay in the transfer of her home, so the occupation date was delayed. They would not let her take occupation until they had received the money.

Our transferring attorney sent them a letter telling them that they would be paid as soon as the money was available.

They not only declined, but also charged compound interest, daily for the late payment, which had not been explained to us.

After finally taking occupation of the unit, my mom was diagnosed with dementia and moved to their frail care facility.

The woman who was sharing the unit, moved out, and moved to a granny flat at my home. She is 93.

So we are now paying R3 300 levies every month for an empty apartment as they are not selling them. And when we moved out we said to them that the apartment must be sold as soon as possible

They are not even advertising it. I then contacted the sales agent, and requested a meeting to see if we could rent out the unit. They agreed to us renting the unit. That was on the Friday.

At the meeting he told me that there would be a 10% fee to draw up the contract, R1 000 for the social worker to assess the new tenant and do a credit check on the person as well.

On the Monday I received an email following our meeting, in which he informed me that they will be charging 10% of the monthly rental, and we would receive the balance.

They are very well aware that we cannot afford to pay R3 300 a month, and R16 000 for the frail care.

At least by renting it out we would be able to recover some costs.

They asked me to draw up a letter, stating that we want to rent out the unit, which I did and my mother signed it.

Then they said no, that is not acceptable as due to my mother’s mental condition, she is unable to sign anything.

I asked if a letter from the co-signor on the contract would help, as she is 94 but is still very active and knows what she is doing.

They said yes, that will help. So I did that and they then turned around and said it was not acceptable, I have to get a psychiatrist to assess my mother, and then apply for power of attorney. I emailed my mom’s psychiatrist, who understands the position and drafted a letter as per their request.

I phoned the sales agent, and as usual does not take my calls, let alone return them.

I decided to phone head office, and spoke to a Francis first, and within five minutes I had a lady by the name of Lise, on the phone.

I am sorry but I lost my cool completely.

She told me that the social worker would be going to see my mother to assess her, and from her report would take a decision.

This is part of Communicare, who advertise their services as looking after the aged, but they are only inte-rested in one thing and that is their pocket.

Is there anything that can be done to have this matter resolved?

I have a tenant who is willing to pay the rental, yet I am always hitting these hurdles.

This has been going on for two months now.

This lady Lise said to me that if we could not afford to pay the levies now, then when the unit is sold they would then deduct the levies ammount from the proceeds of the sale. So for a year we will pay R3 300, lose R39 600.

I did not think of getting power of attorney for my mother’s estate, and they are aware of this.

I only have signing power on her bank accounts.

* This letter was sent to Communicare for a response, but by the time this edition went to print, they had not yet responded.