LATE RENTAL PAYMENTS & EVICTIONS | rentals

Landlords cannot simply evict their tenant as they’re protected by the Prevention of

Illegal Eviction from Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, No. 19 of 1998 (PIE Act). The

act applies to the occupation of premises which constitute a dwelling, which in the

case of a landlord and tenant relationship would be the residential property.

 

Step 1: Verbal Warning

 

If the agreed-upon payment date has come and gone, you should immediately

contact your tenant to inform them of the overdue payment. If the tenant is facing

financial difficulties, landlords may agree on a later payment date – however, you are

not obligated to offer this.

 

Step 2: Written notice of contract breach

 

Next, you should send your tenant a notice informing them that they have

breached the lease agreement. Landlords should ensure that the lease agreement is

comprehensive and in line with the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). According to the

CPA, landlords are required to provide a notice of at least 20 business days to their

tenant to allow them to rectify the breach.

 

Step 3: An interdict or cancellation

 

Should the tenant fail to rectify the breach within the given timeframe, the landlord

has two options – proceed with a summons or immediately cancel the agreement.

If, after the summons is issued, tenants still have not made any attempt to pay

the outstanding rental amount, landlords are within their right to cancel the lease

agreement.

 

Step 4: Eviction process

 

If the agreement is cancelled, tenants will no longer fall under the protection of the

PIE Act and will be regarded as an illegal occupier. According to the PIE Act, the

landlord will then be able to evict their tenant legally. Once the lease is cancelled,

landlords can initiate the summons proceedings and the eviction proceedings

simultaneously.

 

Step 5: Eviction notice

 

The application to evict an illegal occupier must be made to either a Magistrate’s

Court or the High Court. If the application is unopposed, it can take between 8-10

weeks for the eviction order to be granted. It’s common practice in South Africa to

provide the tenant with at least another 14 days to find new accommodation before

the eviction order is executed.