Eviction process in South Africa.

Eviction process in South Africa.

Author: Ulfah Fish
When a tenant commits an act which is considered to be breach of the lease agreement, for instance failing to pay rent when requested to do so, the landlord will give the tenant one month notice to vacate.

Author: Ulfah Fish

When a tenant commits an act which is considered to be breach of the lease agreement, for instance failing to pay rent when requested to do so, the landlord will give the tenant one month notice to vacate. If the tenant does not vacate, this landlord will have to start the eviction process. To avoid issues or delays in the eviction process, it is highly recommended to get an Attorney who specialises in evictions to assist with evicting the tenant. The eviction process is explained step by step below:

  1. The landlord will request the tenant to remedy the breach. If the breach is not rectified, the landlord can terminate the rental agreement.
  2. The landlord will instruct an Attorney who specialises in evictions to assist, the Attorney will then notify the defaulting tenant of the landlords intention to evict them by an order of the court.
  3. The Attorney then applies to the Court to have a “tenant eviction order” issued to the tenant.
  4. The court will advise the Attorney of a date for the eviction hearing and the Sheriff will need to issue notice of the hearing to the tenant and the municipality that has jurisdiction in that area. This has to be done at least 14 days prior to the eviction hearing.
  5. Thereafter, the court hearing occurs and this is where the tenant needs to prove a valid defense.
  6. If there is a valid defense, a trial date will be set. In the absence of a valid defense, the Court will issue the tenant with an “eviction notice” which stipulates the date by when they would need to vacate the property.  Should the tenant fail to vacate the Sheriff will be instructed by the court on which date he needs to expel the tenant’s belongings from the premises.

The eviction process in South Africa can be a long process. If the eviction is not opposed, it can take between 4-10 weeks to complete. However, if the tenant opposes the eviction, it can take up to 18 months to complete all legal proceedings. This is why it is highly recommended that an eviction Attorney is approached during the early stages of the eviction process to avoid any issues or delays.

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