Good MorningIt has been quite some time ...

Asked by Berthe70 on 04-08-2020 09:27:29
Question posted in the Property Law category relating to Gauteng

Good Morning

It has been quite some time now that I have been the only income in a household of six adults. I do not earn a very big salary. As a result I have run into arrear with my accounts and also my rental. My husband did work for a little while, but the company that he worked for did not pay him his full salary when and of they paid him. Regarding the rental - I have made some commitments on good faith That he will be paid which I was not able to honour. I received a letter of demand for the outstanding amount, but due to circumstances I am unable to obtain a loan to settle this, I have received a letter on Sunday that I need to vacate within 48 hrs I really can’t be without accommodation my parents resides with me and both of them is frail, one in a wheelchair and one depends on crutches, Please help

Thank You

Further information relating to Question:

I am not unwilling to pay the outstanding amount, I am responsible for it and it is my intention to honor this, i just cant do the lumpsum or obtain credit to do so, I can even make an arrangement to pay this monthly. they can even to a payment order against my salary I dont mind at all

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 04-08-2020 09:49:53

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

The first thing that you need to take into account is that under the current regulations, you are NOT allowed to be evicted from your leased premises due to a failure to pay rental. The courts are not allowed to grant an eviction order, and if they do, the sheriff of the court is NOT allowed to implement the eviction order and actually evict you. 

The second thing that you need to take into account is that your landlord is not allowed to take the law into his own hands and evict you himself. Only the sheriff of the court can evict you, and he can only do so if he has a court order allowing the eviction.

So, on the face of it, you can't be legally evicted at the moment.

If the landlord comes to your house to try evict you, you need to tell him that he is not legally allowed to, and you need to call the SAPS to come to your assistance. Illegally trying to evict somebody is a criminal offence. 

You can tell the landlord that you know your rights and you understand that he needs an eviction court order. You can tell him that he will need to apply at the magistrates court for a PIE Eviction order, and that you are allowed to attend court and make representations to the magistrate about your living requirements. 

In short, it will take them between 6 months and about a year to get the eviction order - so don't get worried when he says that he wants you out in 48 hours. This can never happen.

You can also challenge the 48 hour notice period, because in terms of the Housing Rental Act the landlord needs to give 20 days notice!

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.

Att. Patrick

Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow up questions please use the REPLY button and ask. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered. I hope you found my answer helpful, and you have finished asking your questions, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button in order to mark the question as closed.

Information provided by client

The first letter that I received was a letter of demand on 03/07/2020, giving me 21 business days to raise the funds (20 of which I was in isolation, I have asked for a few more days but was declined) He advised that i am not allowed to speak to him i must liaise with his laywer. I have asked for an appointment to discuss this matter, with no reply forthcoming.

Do you suggest that I copy your reply and email it to both parties (lawyer and landlord)

Information provided by client

Their reply
Dear Ms. Havenga

Please note that the lease agreement that you have entered into with Mr. Appelgrein has been cancelled on 1 August 2020.

This was done in accordance with the provisions of the lease agreement that you have signed and entered into out of your own free will.

We have been advised by the owner of the property that you have made many empty promises relating to payments since you have moved into the house at address: 3 Kasteel Street, Witpoortjie, Roodepoort.

We have no intention to enter into any discussions with you regarding an extension of the lease agreement past 1 August 2020.

Please note that Mr. Appelgrein will pursue this matter to its finality. Should you refuse to vacate the property as directed, then we shall have you removed.

We trust that it will not be necessary to have you forcefully removed.

We trust that you will find the above in order.

Kind regards,

Leon Pretorius

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 04-08-2020 11:43:36

Check that their cancellation of the lease agreement was done correctly. In other words, did they first send you a letter of demand giving you 20 days to pay the arrears, and only then cancel the lease?

You should reply to say that it is unfortunate that it has come to this, and you will move when you are allowed to, but that you can't move at the moment. You can say that you know your rights and that he needs an eviction court order.

You can tell him that he will need to apply at the magistrates court for a PIE Eviction order, and that you are allowed to attend court and make representations to the magistrate about your living requirements. 

Information provided by client

They have included the August 2020, rental in the arrears amount reflecting on the cancellation of agreement notification. Am I correct in saying that if I have to pay the rental for Aug 2020, I should have the right to remain on the property until 31 Aug 2020?

Information provided by client

Is the following correct and acceptable, can I send it to them?:-

It is unfortunate that it has come to this, however I have obtained legal advice in this matter and know my rights. Under the current regulations, no evictions are allowed from leased premises due to a failure to pay rental. The courts are not allowed to grant an eviction order, and if they do, the sheriff of the court is NOT allowed to implement the eviction order and actually evict me, I am also allowed to attend court and make representations to the magistrate about my living requirements.

Hopefully we will be able to come to an amicable agreement regarding the arrears amount and rental payments going forward however should Mr Appelgrein wish to pursue this matter to its finality bearing in mind that the August 2020 rental was included in the arrears amount quoted on your letter dated 01 August 2020, I will move on or before 31 August 2020,

Information provided by client

Posted by Berthe70 on 04-08-2020 11:57:56

They have included the August 2020, rental in the arrears amount reflecting on the cancellation of agreement notification. Am I correct in saying that if I have to pay the rental for Aug 2020, I should have the right to remain on the property until 31 Aug 2020?

Information provided by you

Posted by Berthe70 on 04-08-2020 12:15:28

Is the following correct and acceptable, can I send it to them?:-

It is unfortunate that it has come to this, however I have obtained legal advice in this matter and know my rights. Under the current regulations, no evictions are allowed from leased premises due to a failure to pay rental. The courts are not allowed to grant an eviction order, and if they do, the sheriff of the court is NOT allowed to implement the eviction order and actually evict me, I am also allowed to attend court and make representations to the magistrate about my living requirements.

Hopefully we will be able to come to an amicable agreement regarding the arrears amount and rental payments going forward however should Mr Appelgrein wish to pursue this matter to its finality bearing in mind that the August 2020 rental was included in the arrears amount quoted on your letter dated 01 August 2020, I will move on or before 31 August 2020,

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 04-08-2020 16:25:23

Q: They have included the August 2020, rental in the arrears amount reflecting on the cancellation of agreement notification. Am I correct in saying that if I have to pay the rental for Aug 2020, I should have the right to remain on the property until 31 Aug 2020? --> Yes. Definitely.

Good email. Send it!

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