Hi. My tenant breached the lease agreeme...

Asked by Riaall on 23-11-2020 16:08:20
Question posted in the Landlord Tenant Law category relating to Eastern Cape

Hi. My tenant breached the lease agreement multiple times with late rent payments and failing to pay rent. She's made promises to pay on certain dates but then doesn't pay and then she doesn't contact me to explain; I have to contact her and then she just makes more promises that she doesn't fulfill. This has happened multiple times. The lease stipThe rent is R5500 per month and due on 1st of each month;  the unpaid rent currently amounts to R12 200. I have issued her with notice, today 23/11/20, requesting her to pay the amount within 7 days according to lease agreement. I informed her  she does not pay, formal eviction proceedings will commence. If she doesn't pay by day 7; can I issue a letter of immediate termination of the lease request her vacate the property within 20 working days? The lease agreement stipulates  that she is liable for costs resulting from the breach of the lease; attorney fees included.

Information Requested by Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 23-11-2020 16:28:01

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.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? I will come back to you shortly!

Att. Patrick

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 23-11-2020 17:27:50

According to the Rental Housing Act 1999, section 4(5)(c) a landlord may terminate a lease if the tenant is in breach of contract on grounds that do not constitute unfair practice.The landlord is required to give the tenant at least 20 working days to remedy the situation, depending on the severity of the breach in question, after which the landlord may terminate the agreement.

So, your notice giving 7 days is not good enough. You need to send a new notice giving 20 working days to remedy (catch up the arrears) whereafter you can terminate the agreement.

You can also demand that she vacates the leased premises on the 20th day. That's fine. If you cancel the lease then she can't remain there and must move. 

If she doesn't move, you will then need to institute eviction proceedings in the magistrates court to get her out! The issue there is that you will need an attorney because the practice is quite technical. It might also take between 4 and 8 months to get her out... 

But, if your lease agreement says that she will be liable for the attorneys fees, then you can get an order in that regard and recover the lawyers fees from her. 

But if she can't pay her rental, how will she pay your lawyer?!

Answer Accepted

This answer was accepted on 23-11-2020 18:10:43

If you would like to view the entire answer, you will need to either login or register a FREE account.

Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: Advice or answers from Lawyers on SA Legal Advice are not substitutes for the proper advice of an Lawyer. SA Legal Advice is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Lawyer who assists with your question is not your Lawyer, and the response above is not to be considered to be legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from individual Lawyers, not SA Legal Advice. The site and services are provided “as is”. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.