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?
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.
If you want to end your contract early, this can only be done “in situations where the Consumer Protection Act or Rental Housing Act apply” – or if there’s a clause in the contract that allows for early cancellation, or if both parties agree to it.
This is a question that comes up often, as cutting electricity is seen by Body Corporates as an effective way to force owners to pay outstanding funds.
All the unlawful occupiers of a block of flats in Berea, Johanneburg, want is for the city to provide them with alternative accommodation – and, having failed in the High Court and SCA, took the matter to the Constitutional Court yesterday. The owner of the building‚ Calvin Maseko‚ has been unable to move in to renovate the building, notes a TimesLIVE report.
The Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) has ordered the eviction of a Pretoria businessman‚ who defaulted on his rent and even charged overtime for fixing a water pipe in the house he was renting. Tenant George Webb had been skipping rental payments since taking occupancy of Nomlamali Mahanjana's five-bedroom house in June 2015‚ claiming this money for repairs he had done on the house.
Twenty-seven adults and six children who have been living on the street outside the building in Yeoville‚ Johannesburg‚ from which they were unlawfully evicted almost two weeks ago have been given the right by the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) to return home. This was confirmed by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC)‚ which represented the families, notes a TimesLIVE report.
Private property developers at the centre of a legal dispute expected the court to ‘get blood out of a stone’ when they asked that Bromwell Street residents in Woodstock – who are facing eviction – pay their legal costs. A Cape Times report says the lawyer for Woodstock Hub had asked the Western Cape High Court yesterday to order the residents to pay for the legal fees.