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  • Writer's pictureLouw & Heyl

Understanding Eviction Laws in South Africa: Your Legal Rights and Processes

Eviction is a hot topic and often a contentious issue in South Africa, for both tenants and landlords alike. Whether you find yourself facing eviction or needing to evict a tenant, understanding your legal rights and following the correct processes is crucial. This is where the expertise of Louw & Heyl attorneys can provide invaluable insight, advice and legal guidance. Knowing where you stand legally makes navigating the eviction process smoother and ensures fair treatment.

What Exactly is Eviction and When Does it Apply?

An eviction is when a person is legally forced to leave the property they’re staying on. The process of eviction is started when a person is considered to be an unlawful occupier. Examples of an unlawful occupier includes squatters, defaulting mortgagers, or tenants who refuse to move out of a property when a lease expires or is terminated due to a breach of the lease. Essentially someone is deemed an unlawful occupier when they:

-            Stay on a property without the landlord’s consent

-            Stay on a property without having any right to do so

-            Are not considered to be an occupier in terms of any other law.

What is the Eviction Process in South Africa?

The process of eviction is governed by the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE Act).  These laws outline the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants and provides a framework for resolving disputes related to evictions.

The Constitution states that no person’s property may be taken away and no person may be evicted without a court order.

1.        The eviction process typically begins with the landlord issuing a written notice to the tenant, detailing how they have broken the agreement and giving them an opportunity to remedy it within a stipulated time frame. If the tenant does not fix the breach within the specified time, the landlord may terminate the lease agreement and start the eviction process.

2.        The landlord can now initiate legal proceedings by filing an eviction application with the appropriate court. The court reviews the case and may issue an eviction order if it finds sufficient grounds for eviction based on the PIE Act.

3.        Once an eviction order is granted, the sheriff of the court will execute the order  and oversee the eviction process and removal of the tenant from the property.

Your Rights as a Tenant to Avoid Being Unfairly Evicted

-            No landlord can evict you without a court order. The landlord must follow the correct legal procedure.

-            Landlords must provide you with adequate and fair notice before initiating eviction proceedings.

-            A Landlord is not allowed to  cut off electricity and/or water supply to the property.

-            You are allowed to challenge the eviction proceedings in court if you believe your rights have been violated or that the eviction is unjust. 

Louw and Heyl can assist you if you feel your rights are not being protected. We will review your case thoroughly and assess the validity of the notice served by the landlord, explore possible defences and represent your interest in court. Our goal is to safeguard your rights and help you understand your options.

Your Rights as a Landlord in Terms of Evictions

You have grounds for a lawful eviction if there is a  breach of the lease agreement, including a tenant not paying the agreed rent, a tenant violating the terms of lease or a tenant engaging in any illegal activities on the premises.

If you are seeking to evict a tenant, we’ll provide you with comprehensive legal advice and assistance to ensure you stay compliant with the relevant laws and regulations. We will draft and serve eviction notices on your behalf and represent you in any court proceedings. We make it a priority to protect your rights as a landlord  and help you regain possession of your property in a timely and lawful manner, operating with full integrity.

Why Choose Louw and Heyl for Assistance?

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, navigating the complexities of eviction law in South Africa can be challenging. We have a team of experts who specialise in property law and have extensive experience in assisting both tenants and landlords with eviction matters.

At Louw & Heyl we can offer sound legal advice and guidance no matter the circumstances. We are also on-hand to assist practically in terms of drawing up legal letters, documents and  representing you in court. We want to help you achieve a fair and lawful resolution to your eviction-related legal needs.

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