At first glance Homii Lifestyle’s apartments are enough to make you want to move in immediately and absorb the relaxing ambience that accompanies the establishment. From the entrance to the business lounge the decadent setting can make for a suave movie scene starring Denzel Washington. But not everything is what it seems and this is according to fed up tenants who had a sit down with Gauteng News and expressed their grievances.
As my colleague and I entered the establishment we were taken aback by the receptionist requesting R100 from non-tenants. This basically means that a tenant who has guests visiting should be prepared to fork out R100 for each guest. The money is retrievable, however, as long as the guest does not sleep over but the frustration that comes with it is evident.
“My younger sister had to stay with me for three nights because their varsity residence had not yet opened. The management then requested that I pay R300”, explains Viktor Motaung who is a tenant at Homii Lifestyle. Seated next to him is businessman and fellow tenant MlulekiKondile who shared the same experiences that drove him up the wall at some point.
Kondile who conducts his business meetings in the business area explains that he was first attracted to the establishment because of its fanciness and convenient business setting. “It made sense for me to move in here because I wouldn’t have to rent office space or meet my clients in restaurants where there is noise and other distractions”, he says.
The foyer had technicians working on an elevator that had been out of order for a while and according to Kondile power outages are a norm and management hardly communicates in advance. “They did tell us that they’re connecting the electricity to City Power but their timing and communication is off because they only do so at the last minute when the power is already out”, elaborates Kondile.
Upon viewing some of the available apartments, and walking up a flight of stairs engulfed by darkness, we noticed that the rent is exorbitant for the tiny space provided. Kondile details his tiny room that has a small window and a bathroom that lacks one as well as ventilation. “When I did my research I found out that the window in the room needs to be at least 5% square metres of the room’s size but I doubt mine is even a fraction of that”, he says.
When a power outage occurs the water supply is allegedly cut according to both gentlemen. The building’s fire alarm appears to be unstable as it goes off randomly without being triggered by any smoke. This may put tenants in danger as being used to this may lead them into ignoring the alarm at a time where there is actually an emergency.
With construction still taking place in an already occupied building management was compelled to give the tenants a 25% discount because things like dust, noise from as early as 5am affect the tenants. “One of the female tenants received an unwanted visit form a male tenant, when the male tenant persisted to knock at her apartment, the woman wanted to pursue means of protection from the male tenant but Homii Lifestyle management refused her the footage”, explains Motaung.
Gauteng News spoke to Homii’s Head of Customer Experience Laven Pillay who acknowledged the situation but assumed that the tenants we interviewed had a different agenda. “We received complaints that they are trying to force [other] tenants to be a part of their forum. These are internal issues that we have communicated a project plan to resolution”, stated Pillay.