What to do when tenants refuse to leave

Eviction is a tricky process and one which needs to be handled correctly to avoid any legal repercussions – if the correct process is not followed, the landlord may be punished by the courts and in the most severe cases, imprisoned.

Property Blog Articles | Advice | Contractual Matters | Market News

Tenants are protected by the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act to avoid mistreatment. What this means for the landlord is that, should there be reasons as to why the tenant must vacate the property, the correct legal processes must be followed.

The eviction procedure typically follows these steps:

Breach of contract: A valid reason for evicting a tenant is when they are in breach of their contract, i.e. they have not fulfilled their part of the lease agreement. Most commonly, this takes the form of non-payment of rental, although it may include misuse of the property or contravening any clauses contained within the lease agreement. Bearing in mind, only clauses that are in line with relevant legislation are enforceable.

Notice to the tenant: The landlord must give written notice to the tenant detailing the non-compliance and requesting obligations to be fulfilled. If reparations are made, the eviction process will not proceed. However, if despite this notice, the tenant’s behaviour does not change within the stipulated time period (typically 20 days in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act), the process will continue.

Cancelling the agreement: If no correction is made, the landlord may cancel the lease agreement and give notice of the intention of eviction through legal channels.

Eviction application: The landlord may then apply to the courts for an eviction order which is delivered to the tenant 2 weeks before the hearing date.

Court hearing and summons: The court hearing is an opportunity for both sides of the dispute to be heard. If the tenant has a valid defense, the matter will go to trial on a specified date. However, if no valid defense is heard, the courts will order the removal of the tenant from the relevant property. This will be managed by the sheriff who will be authorised by the courts to remove the tenant and all his belonging from the property on the given date.

The important thing to remember is to ensure everything is done in line with the correct legal proceedings and as such, you should always work in conjunction with an attorney who can assist.

Follow Snymans on Facebook for more legal advice, information and news about property.

3032

Recommended for you

Property Blog Articles | Advice | Contractual Matters | Market News
Contractual Matters

Purchase and ownership of vacant land

14423

Building on vacant land has unmatched possibilities when creating your dream home. There are, however, a few other aspects to consider when purchasing vacant land.

Read More
Property Blog Articles | Advice | Contractual Matters | Market News
Contractual Matters

The difference between movable and immovable property

14652

Miscommunication on what constitutes movable and immovable property can complicate the sale of a property and may even lead to litigation. It is important to draw a distinction between these when you sell or purchase a property in order to obtain clarity on what will be included in the property transfer.

Read More
Snymans Attorneys | Residential and Commercial Property Transfers
Contractual Matters

How to ensure a quick and smooth property transfer

19800

There will always be elements in a property transaction that will be out of your control as the purchaser or seller, however some elements can be managed in a way as to avoid unnecessary delays.

Read More
What Happens To The Ownership Of My Property When I Get Married
Contractual Matters

Marriage in or out of community of property?

20083

The marital regime selected at the time of entering into a marriage will have a significant impact on how ownership of property is dealt with within the marriage, which is why it is important to understand the different options available and select the one that best suits you.

Read More
Property Transfers | Bond Registrations | Snymans Attorneys
Contractual Matters

Minors and immovable property

19566

While the process for transferring ownership of immovable property remains largely the same in cases where one of the parties to the transfer is a minor, the minor’s contractual capacity must be carefully considered.

Read More

Need more Snymans content?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

What to do when tenants refuse to leave

Eviction is a tricky process and one which needs to be handled correctly to avoid any legal repercussions – if the correct process is not followed, the landlord may be punished by the courts and in the most severe cases, imprisoned.

Property Blog Articles | Advice | Contractual Matters | Market News

Tenants are protected by the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act to avoid mistreatment. What this means for the landlord is that, should there be reasons as to why the tenant must vacate the property, the correct legal processes must be followed.

The eviction procedure typically follows these steps:

Breach of contract: A valid reason for evicting a tenant is when they are in breach of their contract, i.e. they have not fulfilled their part of the lease agreement. Most commonly, this takes the form of non-payment of rental, although it may include misuse of the property or contravening any clauses contained within the lease agreement. Bearing in mind, only clauses that are in line with relevant legislation are enforceable.

Notice to the tenant: The landlord must give written notice to the tenant detailing the non-compliance and requesting obligations to be fulfilled. If reparations are made, the eviction process will not proceed. However, if despite this notice, the tenant’s behaviour does not change within the stipulated time period (typically 20 days in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act), the process will continue.

Cancelling the agreement: If no correction is made, the landlord may cancel the lease agreement and give notice of the intention of eviction through legal channels.

Eviction application: The landlord may then apply to the courts for an eviction order which is delivered to the tenant 2 weeks before the hearing date.

Court hearing and summons: The court hearing is an opportunity for both sides of the dispute to be heard. If the tenant has a valid defense, the matter will go to trial on a specified date. However, if no valid defense is heard, the courts will order the removal of the tenant from the relevant property. This will be managed by the sheriff who will be authorised by the courts to remove the tenant and all his belonging from the property on the given date.

The important thing to remember is to ensure everything is done in line with the correct legal proceedings and as such, you should always work in conjunction with an attorney who can assist.

Follow Snymans on Facebook for more legal advice, information and news about property.

3032