Evictions are hardly the easiest process to complete with legal obligations involved it can easily become a lengthy process that can take ages to be resolved. While evictions are something both landlords and tenants hope to avoid when signing a rental agreement, it is a reality both may have to face eventually.
In tough economic times, evictions become even more prominent as people find it harder to commit to obligations they signed up for months ago.
The eviction process in South Africa is very much a popular practice, and when the applicant takes the right steps according to the acts, they will have no problem convincing the court to grant an eviction order.
In previous articles, we’ve already discussed the steps to follow in order to implement a lawful eviction, so in this case, we’ll also consider instances where the court will refuse an order.
How the court comes to an eviction decision
The court will make its decision to allow your eviction application and ultimate court order according to section 4(6) and 4(7) of the PIE act. They will use all the information supplied by you and your lawyer to determine if the eviction would be just and equitable.
Section 4(6) refers to the time the unlawful occupier has occupied the land in question. In this case, if the tenant has been living in the property for less than six months. They will consider other relevant circumstances such as the rights of the elderly, disabled persons, children, and households headed by women.
Section 4(7) states that the court can grant an eviction order to an unlawful occupier that has lived on the land for more than six months since the proceedings started if they are of the opinion that it will be just and equitable.
They will also take into account if relevant circumstances as mentioned before, ‘except where the land is sold in a sale of execution pursuant to a mortgage, whether land has been made available or can reasonably be made available by a municipality or other organ of state or another land owner for the relocation of the unlawful occupier’. – Eviction Lawyers
Unlawful eviction cases
Earlier this year, there was a case that found unlawful occupants cannot be evicted if it would lead to them being homeless and they don’t understand the court order being brought against them.
The unlawful applicant should be notified of all aspects of the eviction proceedings and given the chance to seek legal aid in order for the eviction process to take its course. In other words, the court can deny an eviction order if the occupant in question doesn’t understand his/her rights.
If you follow these steps, as stipulated in one of our previous articles, there should be no reason for the court to not grant your eviction order:
If the tenant doesn’t vacate the property or disputes your lease agreement, you will have no choice but to seek legal assistance in proceeding with the eviction order.
- Apply to the court to for a Tenant Eviction Order
- The Tenant Eviction Order is Issued by the court 14 days before the hearing
- During the court hearing, tenants need to prove that they have a defence
- Should the defence be valid, a trial date is set. If invalid, a warrant of eviction is issued where the tenants are legally removed from the property.
Take the legal route
If you’re looking to evict a tenant from your property and want to avoid a long drawn out case or want to limit your risk then present your case to an eviction lawyer. As a specialist in the field of evictions, our team of lawyers will evaluate your case and give you solid advice if you have a case that will hold up in a court of law.
If you need advice on your eviction case or would like us to represent your case, get in touch with Le Roux