Tenants lose R1.6m rental arrears case
Social housing giant Communicare has welcomed a judgment in the Western Cape High Court in a case it brought against several tenants of its Sakabula apartment complex in Ruyterwacht over R1.6m in rent arrears.
A Cape Argus report says the Communicare-owned entity, Goodfind Properties, succeeded in getting the court to evict the tenants who opposed the case, but in his ruling Judge Derek Wille granted the evicted tenants two extra months to vacate the premises.
Before the court for determination were nine opposed applications for the eviction of different tenants from the apartments managed by Goodfind Properties.
Wille said he heard all the applications together as directed by the Judge President as the factual issues were all very similar in nature, while the legal issues were all identical.
The court had to determine whether Goodfind made a case for the evictions and, if so, on what date the evictions should be carried out, considering, among other things, the personal circumstances of the tenants who were the respondents in the case.
Wille said Goodfind had asked the tenants to bring their rental arrears up to date – but that in each case the tenants had failed to respond to Goodfind’s demand letters.
‘This prompted the applicant to formally cancel the leases in writing by delivering cancellation notices. Despite the leases being cancelled and the respondents having been called upon to vacate the property, they have failed to do so and remain in unlawful occupation.’
According to the Cape Argus, the tenants had claimed in their opposition to the evictions that the eviction applications should not be entertained pending the finalisation of a similar matter in another court; that Communicare is an organ of the state; and that there is a challenge as to the ownership of the property.
However, Wille said the tenants had put up no primary facts in support of their legal and technical arguments.
He said this was despite the respondents having been invited to detail their personal circumstances and engage with and complete the relevant prescribed questionnaires for processing by the city, which was recorded as the fifth respondent in court papers.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.