Thami Ndlala, Lerato Kganyago’s husband, is in a legal dispute with his landlord over the improvements he made to his rented property in Northcliff.
The drama unfolded when Urban Mountains, the company that leased the property to Ndlala’s company, filed papers to evict him before the lease agreement expired.
Ndlala, through his lawyers Hugo Baloyi Attorneys, retaliated by demanding that the South Gauteng High Court wind up Urban Mountains, accusing the company of failing to pay its debts. He argued that the company was trading from an insolvency circumstance, constituting reckless and negligent trading.
Ndlala further requested the court to liquidate the company to determine its financial position.
In court papers, Ndlala revealed that his company had made improvements worth R1.3 million on the property, with the landlord’s approval. However, he was taken aback when the landlord served him with ejectment papers, showing no intention of reimbursing him for the expenses incurred.
The improvements included the construction of a wall, a swimming pool, hiring of land surveyors and engineers, gabions, and a guard house. These upgrades significantly enhanced the value of the landlord’s property.
Ndlala argued that his application for winding up Urban Mountains was justified, as the company had no other assets to cover his debts and potential ones from other creditors. He believed that granting a winding-up order would be just and equitable for all the company’s creditors.
The dispute between Ndlala and Urban Mountains arose after his company entered into a three-year lease agreement to expand their hotel. The agreement allowed Ndlala to make improvements on the property, subject to the owner’s permission.
Over the course of several months, his company invested R1.3 million in various upgrades, only to be faced with the threat of eviction.
The court case is ongoing, and the outcome will determine the future of Ndlala’s business and the financial position of Urban Mountains. The dispute serves as a cautionary tale for property owners, highlighting the importance of clear agreements and open communication between landlords and tenants.