Being Evicted? – These Are Your Rights.
Constitutionally speaking, everyone has the right to adequate housing. South African laws however protect both the rights of home owners as well as those of occupants. When occupants are faced with eviction, there are certain defences to this, which are canvassed below.
No individual may be evicted without a court properly considering all the circumstances surrounding the occupants in the property. If an individual is renting a property, the landlord can approach a court to have the tenant evicted for either the agreement lapsing, rent being unpaid, intentional damage to property and lease terms not being followed amongst others.
Some landlords, however, disregard the law and rights of tenants and employ tactics to remove tenants from the property forcefully by locking tenants out, selling their possessions to compensate for unpaid rent and so on.
The Correct Process
The first step is usually a letter from the landlord stating which terms have been breached and allowing a tenant an opportunity to correct the breach or to vacate the property. Once this has still not been complied with, the landlord will cancel the agreement and may then proceed to bring an application to evict you at court.
The Sheriff of the court will then serve the documents on you which will provide you with an opportunity to state your case at court.
Since eviction without a court order is against the law, you will be well within your rights to approach the Police to open a case. Alternatively you should approach an attorney to assist you.
Du Toits Attorneys prides itself in legal advice and assistance to the customer whenever it is required. If you have any legal questions, matters or require an attorney, contact us to assist you. Should you find yourself having to evict someone or being evicted, contact us to assist.