Reasons why tenants dislike ‘ma-stand’

Tembisa is not only home to those who were born there, but many people from other cities in South Africa and abroad.

That is why today we have a majority of homes with backrooms being rented out to people in Tembisa.

Funds collected are often used to settle bond payments and school fees, among other things.

Landlords here are referred to as ‘ma-stand’, loosely translated to owner of the house/stand.

They are more like your caretakers and body corporates all rolled into one. As with any rental agreement between a renter and landlord, there are bound to be disagreements.

However, often there is no lease agreement contract entered into by both parties, making their relationship challenging and complicated.

When various rental issues arise, either of the party does whatever feels right at that moment. This is one of the reasons why a tenant feels that ma-stand has the upper hand.

Here are other reasons:

  •  Ma-stand refusing to buy electricity when it is required. Simply because they feel it is their property, there is no need to buy electricity.
  •  Ma-stand disrespecting a tenant’s privacy. They keep spare keys just in cases there is an emergency, but some misuse the key.
  •  Helping themselves to a tenant’s groceries.
  •  Non-existent and respectful communication channels.
  •  Lack of transparency in dealing with tenants.
  •  Cleaning and refuse schedule disagreements.
  • It is what it is. However, do not forget it takes two to tango.
  • You will find one or two tenants in a yard who are just not willing to co-operate and who do not behave like adults.

This often causes Ma-stand to deal with whatever issues she might have harshly and inconsiderately. It is not that she is bad or nasty, some tenants do not know their limits.

In yards were there is no Ma-stand, it is different. In some cases, the situation is even worse.

A self-appointed Ma-stand can ruin any tenant’s life, if given an opportunity and the platform.

This is not to say that Tembisa has no good Ma-stands. This column is simply to highlight what some tenants go through on a daily basis.

Generally, people are not the same and often they treat people the same way they are treated by those people.

Tau Ya Masepeng

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