A South African Landlord’s Rights to Eviction


South African property owners have notoriously few rights when it comes to how they can handle tenants who default on payments or occupy their property illegally. South African eviction law closely guards tenants’ rights to not be removed from property, but that doesn’t mean there is no way around this.

By understanding your rights and obligations as a property owner, you will be able to navigate the property law landscape with more success, to protect your investment and successfully issue defaulting tenants with a notice to vacate the property effectively and legally.

Here are a few things that property owners should know in this regard:

Who Can Start the Eviction Process?

In some instances, family members or friends may be tempted to assist with or start the eviction process and obtaining a court order on behalf of a property owner, but landlords should know that this is never a legally viable option.

There are only two entities that can start the eviction procedure, and those parties are either the property owner themselves, or someone that has been granted power of attorney to do it.

Can Evictions be Done without a Court Order?

Under no circumstances can a tenant be evicted without first obtaining a court order from the Magistrates Court or the High Court.

This is important to know, since if a landlord attempts to evict a tenant without one, it could result in legal action being instituted the property owner  We assist both landlords and tenants in resolving their disputes and eviction issues.

Who can Remove a Tenant from Property?

Even when a court order has been issued, it is important to know that the landlord themselves, or any third-party on their behalf, cannot under any circumstances, remove the tenant from the property. The same is applicable for changing locks to deny them access.

In cases of evictions, the only entity who may act to remove tenants from property, is the Court Sheriff.

Removable Goods as Collateral

In some instances should a landlord be owed outstanding rent, he can attach a tenant’s goods in respect of the unpaid rental in terms of his rights of hypotec. 

What this means is that the tenant’s goods that are being held on the property in question, can be removed as collateral, without notice.

The reason why this can be done without notice, is to prevent the tenant from removing the furniture from the property when they suspect the landlord might take it as security.

This, like the court order, is arranged through the Courts.

Contact Michael Krawitz for Details

Do you need assistance with eviction law to remove troublesome tenants from your property? Be sure to get into contact with a representative from Michael Krawitz Attorneys today.

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