Tenant files case with tribunal over demands by landlord

The Johor Baru Consumer Claims Tribunal is in Menara Ansar in Jalan Trus, Johor Baru.

JOHOR BARU: A carpet shop owner decided to file a case at the Johor Baru Consumer Claims Tribunal after his landlord refused to return the deposit owed to him.

Pritam Singh Lal Singh said he had handed over the keys to the house to the landlord on Dec 13,2019.

He said the tenancy agreement for the house which he had rented since December 2018 expired in November last year.

Pritam said the single-storey end-lot house was rented for RM800 monthly for his two workers and also to store his carpets.

“We were supposed to meet in November but he always gave excuses, ’’ he said when met at the Johor Baru Consumer Claims Tribunal in Menara Ansar here.

Pritam said instead of returning the RM1,600 given as two months’ deposit for the house and RM600 for water and electricity, the landlord demanded that RM500 and RM300 be deducted from the total sum of RM2,200.

The claimant said the RM500 was for compensation for a fruit tree planted 20 years ago by the landlord in the compound and RM300 for the standing fans provided by him.

“He claimed my workers act of burning dried leaves underneath the tree caused it to die, ’’ said Pritam, adding that no standing fans were provided by the landlord.

He said the landlord later changed his mind when he was served a notice to attend hearings at the tribunal; saying instead that he wanted to deduct RM200 from the RM2,200 for damaged padlocks.

Pritam said the three padlocks were damaged when robbers entered the house in April 2019 and June last year when his workers were away in his shop.

He said after the two break-ins, his workers were afraid to sleep at the house and slept at the shop.

They only went back to the house in the morning to bathe.

Pritam said he was upset with the landlord for being inconsiderate as he had always paid his rent on time.

“I did not want to make things complicated and prolong the case and was willing to replace the damaged padlocks, ’’ he said.

Tribunal president Norsiah Ujang rejected RM500 in claims for the tree by the respondent, citing it was not under the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

Norsiah ordered the respondent to return RM2,220 to the claimant within two weeks and said the claimant must replace the damaged padlocks within the same time.

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