In 2019, Small Apartments with Shared Amenities officially became a popular property in Cape Town’s CBD.
- A resident of Cape Town was rejected as a tenant because of his race.
- The real estate company has since terminated the owner’s contract and suspended the real estate agent.
- The subject officer issued a public apology.
A Cape Town real estate company has terminated the contract of a landlord who allegedly turned down a rental applicant on the grounds of his race.
On Tuesday, Pol Osei, 26, took to various social media platforms and posted a conversation on WhatsApp where the real estate agent explained to him that he had been refused accommodation because of his race.
“The client is breed specific,” the text reads.
The real estate agent further defended the move, saying it was not illegal for a landlord to choose his tenants.
Osei told News24 he started talking to the real estate agent on Monday because his lease was coming to an end.
Osei said he was somewhat shocked when the real estate agent did not offer him the opportunity to visit the apartment he was inquiring about.
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“When she told me the client was breed specific I tried to keep my cool. I thought maybe she wanted to say something different and asked her to explain this what she meant by breed-specific, ”Osei said.
The agent told her that it was not the rental company’s fault that the landlord picked the tenants.
“I felt a range of emotions because of the shamelessness,” Osei explained.
“I thought it was ridiculous that they could reject me when they hadn’t checked out where I was working, or even contacted one of my references.”
Osei expressed his disappointment and frustration with the real estate agent, adding that he no longer wanted to move into their apartments.
Live Real Estate said it is aware of the situation and has taken steps to address it.
“As CEO of Live Real Estate, Brendan Miller, we do not strongly tolerate this behavior because it goes against what we stand for, not only as a company but as South Africans.
“We have already terminated the contract with the landlord and have been in contact with the tenant to help them in any way we can,” Miller added.
He said the company has, since its inception, been recognized as a market leader serving a diverse clientele, maintaining a high level of professionalism and adhering to a code of ethics.
We have also suspended the subject officer with immediate effect, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Agent Gabriella Johnson had since issued an apology.
“I would like to apologize wholeheartedly for having acceded to my client’s request not to accept black tenants to rent their property. Looking back, I should have opposed this request as it goes to the against my own values, the principles of the company I represent and our Constitution. [none] other than the crass racism which i hate.
“It was my duty to call him, which I neglected to do. It was my surveillance for which I take full responsibility and accountability. I hope you will accept my sincere apologies. known and commit to doing better, ”Johnson said.
Osei said he had not received an apology from Johnson personally.
“I received an apology from the agencies involved and that’s it.”
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