Tenant Eviction – Do’s and Dont’s

As a landlord, the most difficult and worst situations is to deal with problematic tenants.  Most problematic tenants does not follow the terms and condition in the lease agreement.  There are lots of reasons when it comes to eviction like big damages to the rental unit, staying on the premises after expiration of the lease, the constant breaking of contract rules, and not paying the rent. Evicting a tenant is very difficult to do but with the help of eviction attorney, the process is easy.

In fact, there are lots of laws in South Africa that rule rental agreements like Housing Act, Common Law, Laws of Contract, Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and also the constitution. However, evicting a tenant is not a very simple procedure to do. There are do’s and don’ts that landlords must be aware to follow the proper process to remove tenants.

As told by Harcourts Real Estate South Africa general manager named Jan Myburgh, if ever the tenant did not pay the rent on the due date, even though there is a breach contract, the landlord can terminate the said contract. But the tenant will not leave the premises necessarily or perhaps the landlord could pressure them to move out.

Landlords must remember that they cannot immediately evict the tenants in their premises.  It is not proper to evict their troublesome tenant personally because this is not the correct procedure.

If there is a breach contract for the tenant, the landlord must ensure that this tenant is notified to repair the breach as stated in the agreement of lease.  If nothing is sorted out to fix the shortcoming or the issues, the landlord can end the agreement of lease.  The process of eviction begins  if the tenant will not leave the premises.

The eviction is done with a proper court order only which lasts for three months. The fees will be paid to the lawyer immediately. However, the fees can be reimbursed later to the landlord and also the outstanding money on rent. Even though the landlords feel that they are responsible and have right to prevent the tenant to enter the property, this is still considered as illegal eviction. Since this is illegal, the landlords are in danger when doing such acts.

In some circumstances, if the door  locks on the premises are changed, they are obliged to provide tenants new keys. Although, the landlord is very angry to the tenant, he/she has no right to enter the property and get the amount of money owed without informing the tenant and take the tenant’s possession as a payment. The court order must be obtained first, before the landlord must take any action on the tenant’s possession. There is a protection called Rental Risk that can be used to protect the investment of the owner.

The eviction process can provide peace of mind to the landlord.  It can minimised the  cost of the damage.

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