What is the eviction process in South Africa?



What is the eviction process in South Africa?

A set of legal rules must be followed to legally evict anyone in South Africa.

The general process can be found in the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act.

It is a complicated set of processes, best left to an eviction lawyer to help you with.

Generally, the first steps is to assess the legal relationship an owner of property has with the occupier.

The occupier is in most cases a tenant who is not paying rent, or who refuses to vacate at the end of the lease period.

Some times, the occupier is not a tenant, someone who has unlawfully settled at the property, and is now using it has his only place of residence.

This is different to a land invasion, that is always illegal, and can be dealt with differently. This is where government uses the Red Ants to demolish structures.

There is a fine line between a land invasion and using land as a residence.

An eviction attorney needs to help you determine the most appropriate legal solution to both these property use predicaments.

The classic tenant or squatter (not land invader) cannot be forcibly removed from property they are using as their residence without a court order served on them by the sheriff.

To get a court order for eviction, also called ejectment, it is highly recommended that you obtain the services of a specialist eviction lawyer to help with the court process.

To over simply the process, a lawyer should help you with a pre court process first, that involves sending written notification of your intention to evict.

There are different types of eviction notices, depending on the circumstances.

For example, where there is a lease, one must send a certain type of notice, and give certain time lines to expire, before taking any next steps in the process.

To learn more about the type of notice, and time lines, that may be appropriate for your case, please contact us.

Once the letters have been sent, to the legal service address (that is important), and you have proof of this, once the time periods of expired, one can then start to prepare the court application.

The court application requires an affidavit to make out a case as to why a judge should make an order for the occupier’s forced removed from the property.

This is a technical document best left to an eviction lawyer to draft.

The court application will involve a number of court appearances, and it may be opposed, but often is not.

On average, an eviction court process, can take 6 weeks to 3 months; longer if there are issues with the papers, the role players not performing in the process, and if it is opposed.

In the end, an owner of property, needs to consult with an experienced specialist eviction lawyer, to successfully navigate the pre court and court processes.

Any mistake in the process, can cause delays, and increase costs.

If you are a landlord, or property owner, needing help with evicting a tenant or occupier, Contact Simon Dippenaar & Associates Inc. (aka SDLaw) today for help with the eviction processes on 086 099 5146 or by email: simon@sdlaw.co.za.  We will contact you back same day, with advice on the first best steps to take to resolve the issues practically and cost effectively.

SD Law is a law firm of specialised eviction attorneys, helping property owners across South Africa, including Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Durban.

Related reading:

Landlord's Guide to Eviction in South Africa

Download our free eBook: Landlord’s Law Guide to Eviction

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The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.

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