Legal Articles and Guides
Landlord Tenant Law
Being evicted? Have a tenant who is not paying his rent? What are your rights? What are his rights? Would you like a qualified Lawyer to assist you with your Landlord / Tenant Law question today?
It was never going to end in the Western Cape High Court. A Cape Times report says this was the statement from Judge Elizabeth Baartman yesterday of the case involving the future of about 200 rural pupils, as she granted the Grootkraal community leave to have their case heard in the SCA.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has come to the rescue of a 68-year-old woman who was about to be evicted from her home, says a TimesLIVE report. Mary Rahube launched an application to declare that she is the owner of the property in Mabopane on which she has lived since 1977.
‘If you get sent to Wolwerivier, what is the chance that you will be able to get out of Wolwerivier, or are you essentially going on a permanent basis,’ asked Acting Judge Mark Sher in the eviction case of 27 residents of Bromwell Street, Woodstock. A GroundUp report says the families have returned to the Western Cape High Court where a new judge is now hearing the case. The families are facing eviction to Wolwerivier after the Woodstock Hub bought the property on which they live.
The developers behind the multibillion-rand upgrade to Durban’s Point precinct want the water sports clubs out, and they have gone to court to have a judge evict them from their shared clubhouse, says a report in The Mercury. The Durban Point Development Company notes the clubhouse is right where a new promenade is supposed to be built, and that delays in construction are going to translate into a ‘direct increased cost’ of around R100 000 a day for them.
More than 700 structures were demolished by City Law Enforcement agencies over the weekend. According to a Cape Argus report, this comes days after the Western Cape High Court dismissed an application to evict 60 000 people living in the Marikana informal settlement in Philippi. Three mass land invasions in Khayelitsha prompted the City to demolish at least 751 occupied and unoccupied structures.
A former shop tenant who took the management of Dragon City Wholesale Mall in Fordsburg, Johannesburg, to court in a bid to retake control of his business has had his urgent application dismissed and been told to pay all legal fees, says a Saturday Star report. Bareket Gebru, who initially leased out two shops at the centre, accused the landlords of using their bodyguards to forcefully remove, intimidate and assault him, as well as holding at least R500 000 worth of stock to ransom.
A recent High Court judgment of Abigak 1 General Trading & Investment CC v Gani and Another; Gani and Another v Balkin and Others (1184/16; 6620/16)  ZAGPJHC 126 is yet another reminder of how essential it is to comply with all necessary formalities when entering into any sort of agreement, particularly when dealing with the sale of property.
The Constitutional Court’s decision in Baron and others v Claytile (Pty) Limited and Another is a missed opportunity to enhance the usefulness of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act (Esta) as a tool that can enable farm dwellers to take control of their lives. The Act recognises that the farm dweller’s rights to live on commercial farmlands are precarious.
Former employees of a brick plant in Cape Town have lost their five-year battle to hold on to their farm homes, notes a TimesLIVE report. Yesterday the Constitutional Court said they should move 30km from Muldersvlei‚ near Klapmuts‚ to Wolwerivier‚ near Atlantis‚ which they argued is too far from their children’s schools and their workplace. A spokesperson for Lawyers for Human Rights‚ which represented the ex-employees‚ said the judgment was disappointing.
The Cape Town Magistrate's Court has instructed the City of Cape Town to submit a report for alternative accommodation for a group a families facing eviction in Woodstock. According to a GroundUp report, Mark Owen – the lawyer representing the families – had asked the court to make this order. More than 50 people living in a block converted into apartments on Albert Road were served with eviction notices in March and April to vacate their homes for not paying rent. But the residents have accused the landlord of neglecting to maintain the property.
Buy-to-let property can be an excellent investment. Just be sure that you take into account the possible difficulty, cost and delay of evicting a defaulting tenant – or indeed any unlawful occupier – who refuses to budge. The problem of course is that you have to keep on paying all your property expenses whilst the legal processes grind their way slowly, painfully and expensively through the courts.
The City of Johannesburg will not be able to meet the Constitutional Court’s requirement to provide alternative accommodation to people evicted from illegally occupied buildings, because it simply does not have enough space. According to a Mail & Guardian Online report, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said: ‘At the moment, we don’t have the capacity to accommodate people who would still be evicted.’
The Legal Resources Centre has welcomed a Constitutional Court judgment which has implications for the conduct of courts in future evictions of occupiers, says a TimesLIVE report. The centre represented the Poor Flat Dwellers Association‚ a non-profit organisation formed in 2009 to resist the exploitation of flat dwellers‚ as a friend of the court in the case in which the Constitutional Court held that courts have an obligation to consider all relevant considerations before ordering an eviction‚ in cases where an unlawful occupier has apparently consented to his removal.
Courts have an obligation to consider all relevant considerations before ordering an eviction‚ in cases where an unlawful occupier has purportedly consented to his removal. The Constitutional Court made this finding yesterday as it rescinded a 2013 order made by the High Court evicting 184 occupiers from a block of flats in Johannesburg. The decision has been described as momentous by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (Seri)‚ which represented the occupiers, notes a TimesLIVE report.
Levy collections are the life blood of sectional title schemes, and collecting them is likely to get harder with the economic fallout from our downgrade to junk status. So if you own property in a scheme, and particularly if you are a trustee of your body corporate, you need to know about the new SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal) decision in Body Corporate of Empire Gardens v Sithole and Another (240/2016)  ZASCA 28 which puts at risk the body corporate’s right to apply for sequestration of levy defaulters.