According to the Constitution, no one’s property may be seized from them, and no one may be evicted from their house without a court order. This implies that before evicting a tenant from a property, the landlord must apply for an eviction notice to the court.
Whether you’re a landlord who needs advice on evicting a tenant, or a tenant looking for help to fight an eviction notice, Michael Krawitz Attorneys can assist you.
How to go about evicting a tenant
Do you need to know how to evict a defaulting tenant on your property legally?
A landlord may wish to evict a tenant for various reasons, including damage to the property caused by the tenant, staying on the property after the lease has ended, a consistent violation of the contract’s provisions, etc. However, the most prevalent reason tends to be late or non-payment of rent.
There are procedures you must follow. According to the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998, the landlord must follow legislated protocols to ensure the tenant can be legally evicted. In this scenario, it is critical to notify your tenant in writing about the specific violations. This is one of the renters’ rights in South Africa. If there is no rectification, you have the authority to cancel the lease contract. Inform the tenant that you are planning to initiate legal action to evict them. Next, apply for eviction from a High Court or a Magistrate’s Court, since no eviction can happen without a court order, according to the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE). Then, the court will issue an eviction notice through the court sheriff in the municipality where the tenant resides. Following this issuance, the tenant can present a valid defence to the court as to why they should not be evicted. If there is none, a warrant of eviction is issued. This warrant allows the sheriff to remove the renter’s property from the home.
What should I do if my renter refuses to vacate?
Typically, the tenant is issued a 30-day notice to vacate the premises. However, suppose the renter fails to comply with the order within the time specified. In that case, the sheriff can enforce the warrant of eviction, which allows the sheriff to remove the tenant’s possessions from the premises.
What are my tenant rights in South Africa?
Although landlords have right over their properties, rental laws in South Africa also entitle tenants to certain rights while they occupy the property. Provided you comply with the agreements set out in the lease contract, you have the right to live in the rented property. In addition, the tenant reserves the right to consultation before any renovations or changes that may affect them as the inhabitants are carried out on the property. Furthermore, should a landlord sell the property while the lease agreement is still in place, the tenant has the right to remain on the property, regardless of the
change in ownership. According to the Rental Housing Act of 1999, a tenant must be given at least one month’s notice when a lease will be terminated. Additionally, the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) grants the renter additional rights to cancel the lease agreement if a notice of 20 business days has been given.
If you fail to pay your rent on time, your landlord must send you a notice of breach outlining the infringement according to the lease agreement. Then, you must have the opportunity to settle any outstanding payments before they can sue you.
It’s crucial to know that a landlord does not have the authority to remove a renter on their own. Instead, the renter must be issued an eviction notice by the court served by the sheriff. In addition, only a sheriff enforcing a warrant of eviction may remove the tenant’s possessions from the property.
Contact Michael Krawitz for details
Contact Michael Krawitz Attorneys today if you need more information about eviction, whether as a landlord or tenant, or assistance with executing or opposing an eviction. We will help you navigate the process legally through our professional services and by working closely with you and the court.