I onw a Property with 4 Units. I rent th...

Asked by Keith on 27-11-2023 06:32:33
Question posted in the Property Law category relating to KwaZulu-Natal

I onw a Property with 4 Units. I rent the main house out to a couple. The couple both passed away in a car accident. I saw online I need to secure the property until an excutor has been appointed. 

I now have the children of the couple wanting access to the house not just to look for documents but also spending nights at the property. Are they allowed to stay or do I need to remove them from their deceaces parents home they are all grown up with kids of thier own They are also planing to have relatives stay over tthe week in the house. 

The couple has also not yet signed their new agreement as the old one has just expired. So Rent will still be due on the first for the first 1 Dec

What do I do to protect my self?

Further information relating to Question:

I have gone to the police station they agree with me that I must ask them to leave the property and if they do not wish to they can assit me in removing them. But I do not want to go that far just yet. They have a friend advising them telling me that its ok for them to be there.

Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 27-11-2023 09:38:21

Hi there Keith 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. 

I'm not too sure why you think that you need to secure the property (your property, which you rented out to them!) until an executor has been appointed? That would mean that you would lose out on new rental for the main house until the executor is appointed (which could take 8 - 12 weeks!) and you would then be reliant on the executor to "hurry up" and move their stuff out. 

There is nothing stopping you from boxing up their stuff, or allowing the children to come in and box up their stuff, in order to get it moved out. In fact, this is what I would suggest that you do! 

I would definitely NOT allow the children to sleep the night, or move in, in any way - not unless they sign a new lease agreement with you! Letting them move in would be a RISKY idea to you because what guarantee do you have for them to move out. 

"They are also planing to have relatives stay over the week in the house. " --> No! Do not allow this! There is no way that they can force you to allow this. Don't! You are placing yourself at risk.

"The couple has also not yet signed their new agreement as the old one has just expired." --> Exactly, so this makes the situation even more risky. Because the children wouldn't even be moving in "in terms of" their deceased parents lease agreement. There is no lease agreement. So you would basically just be allowing them to move in, without any agreement in place! 

"What do I do to protect my self?" --> Make them sign a new lease agreement, and pay 2 months deposit to you, otherwise they most take their parent's stuff and leave. 

There is nothing wrong with them accessing the property (hopefully, with supervision, and only during the day time) to box up their parents stuff and take it away with them. But you can't be giving them keys! You can't be allowing them to "move in" and sleep there. You shouldn't be allowing them access "all the time"... you should give them 2 or 3 days to move out, with a moving truck.

Ideally, you must go there today, and take the keys back from them, and then NOT allow them to sleep there. 

If you let them sleep there, and if you give them keys, then the Police won't help you because you would have let them move in. 

If you do NOT let them sleep there, and if they don't have keys and are reliant on you to open in the morning and lock up at night, then there is no way that they can be tenants or occupiers and the police will assist in moving them out (if needed) because they would be tresspassing. 

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