Landlord making it impossible to run business
I rent a property, pay rent and have permission from landlord to run a guesthouse. I was in a relationship with him at the time of starting the guesthouse mid 2016. We split up and agreed that I run the guesthouse remotely after I moved out. I have build up a very successful business and because of personal matters outside of business he is now making it impossible to continue with a successful business. Also he forces me to not allow blacks, coloreds and indians into the units. On some booking sites, which he is aware of, I can’t have restrictions and he accepted that it might slip through, however, when some of those guests arrived he let the dogs out and a guest got bitten, on another occasion he asked guests to provide him with proof of payment and they didn’t have it on them but their employer paid in full in advance and he was made aware of it, after which he called the SAPS and Securitas in an attempt to arrest them for trespassing. I had to refund them in full, thus loosing income. Certain arrangements stayed the same after I left, for eg the dstv will remain as holiday view units on his name and I continued paying for the service, laundry was done by his one domestic and a girl I employed who is the wife of his gardener and lives on the property. He insisted that I pay a full month’s deposit as part of the lease agreement, which I did. Every month I was invoiced and I paid my rent. This month I had no other alternative but to pay him on the 7th and the balance of the rent on the 8th, as I had to refund so much money on failed reservations. It is all paid in full and dstv. I also paid the staff salaries as he said. Because of all the verbal abuse and the personal situation with us and the relationship that split up after 10yrs, I suggested I sell the business and he can charge a higher rent to the new buyers. I do believe I have a right to sell my business. He refuses to let me se but continue damaging my business and only income. I need help.
Your landlord’s conducts amounts to harassment. It is harassment because he is using aggressive style to intimidate you and cause disruption of your peaceful use and enjoyment of the rental property. Lease agreements, including commercial leases, fall within the Consumer Protection Act, No 68 of 2008. The CPA places a duty on the landlord to act fairly, unjustly and reasonably in dealing with tenants. He must be bound to the terms and conditions of the contract he entered into. If the sale of the business is part of the agreement, he will be acting unreasonably by withholding consent or interfering with the sale.
You can file action for damages against him for a couple of things including loss of income. I think your starting point would be to lodge complaint with the Consumer Protection Ombud. You can google search its contacts but before you do try and have the incident documented. Evidence such as videos, photos, voicemail that captures the incident.