Tenant evictions in South Africa
It’s important to follow the standard eviction process as well as to understand the legal tenant rights. Here are aspects of the eviction process that every landlord needs to understand. If you’re looking for property to add to your portfolio, visit GotProperty for a wide variety.
Reasons for eviction
An eviction may be necessary if your tenant fails to pay their rent, damages your property or overstays their lease.
The violation of a signed lease agreement is another common reason for eviction. While you may want your tenant to move out immediately, it’s important to follow the proper eviction process.
The South African Property Law, Rental Housing Act (Act 50 of 1999), and the Consumer Protection Act all need to be taken into consideration so that you understand the tenant rights, which must be adhered to.
Tenant eviction process
When it comes to evictions in South Africa, there are three procedures that may be applicable. These include a normal or urgent evictions process.
A specialised eviction process is the third eviction procedure that can be used to remove the tenants from a property. One of the criteria for an urgent eviction is when there is an imminent threat from your tenant if they’re not rapidly removed from the property.
Evicting a tenant is not a simple process the landlord can do alone. The first step is to serve the tenant with a notice stating how they’ve violated their contract, which gives them a chance to rectify it.
If they don’t make the necessary changes, the landlord can end the lease agreement and begin the legal process of eviction. The landlord can only evict the tenant with a court order, which takes time and money to obtain.
Landlords can wait up to 3 months to acquire the necessary documents. The tenant will be notified of the impending eviction through the courts. It’s necessary for the landlord to apply for a tenant eviction order, which will be issued two weeks prior to the hearing.
The court hearing provides the tenants with an opportunity to defend themselves against the eviction.
If they have an acceptable defence, the case will go to trial. However, if the tenant doesn’t have a legitimate defence, they’ll be presented with a warrant of eviction. Once a warrant has been issued, the sheriff is permitted to remove the tenant’s possessions for the property.
Dos and don’ts
While it may be tempting to try and speed up the eviction process, you’re likely to be less successful if you don’t adhere to the standard process.
It’s advisable to seek help from a professional and to adhere to the standard process if you want to increase the chances of a successful conviction.
Landlords are not permitted to prevent their tenants from entering the property by changing the locks as by law they are required to provide the tenants with keys.
Likewise, landlords are not permitted to enter the property without the tenant’s permission or to claim any of their possessions in lieu of rent. If the landlord violates the tenant rights, they could find themselves facing criminal charges.
How to prevent evictions in South Africa
To prevent evictions in South Africa, it’s important to compile a comprehensive rental contract that takes into account the local laws. If your tenant violates the contract, it’s easier to prove it if the rental agreement is free from loopholes.
Professional assistance can help you to obtain a solid contract. The expenses and inconvenience of the eviction process make it important to choose the right tenants.
Make sure you ask for references before you let someone move into your property. Professionals can help you to do a credit check as well as to obtain the person’s employment history.
Now that you understand how evictions in South Africa work, you’ll have a better idea of why it’s important to select your tenants carefully.
If you find yourself in the difficult position of trying to remove a tenant from your property, it’s vital to follow the standard eviction process. Any violation of your tenant’s rights can land you in trouble with the South African Property Law.