Claim for damaged goods?

I own unit A and water from unit B’s balcony is seeping into my unit. The owner of unit B has undertaken to fix her balcony and correctly so. However, certain items of clothing, books, a couch and CDs of my tenants in Unit A were soiled.

Can the tenants put in a claim and against whom?

If your tenants have household insurance then their first port of call would be to contact their insurers and put in a claim.

If your tenants are not insured then the situation is more complicated. If they could prove that their household goods were damaged as a direct result of another person’s failure to properly maintain and repair the balcony above your section, or that the person responsible for the balcony was negligent, then theoretically they may have a delictual claim against that person.

Practically speaking it may well not be worth pursuing such a claim as lawyer’s fees will most likely outweigh the sum of the claim.

If the claim is for an amount under R7000, the tenants may avoid legal fees and institute a claim themselves in the small claims court where no legal representation is allowed.

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