Eviction Process: When May a Landlord Evict a Tenant?

Eviction Process

The Eviction Process in South Africa 

Turning your home or secondary property into a source of revenue may seem like a smart solution to earn a passive income in addition to your primary source of income. But in reality, there are a number of challenges that landlords must face in order to succeed in the residential rental market. Not every landlord-tenant relationship will be riddled by conflict, some even part ways on amicable, friendly terms. That being said, some situations may necessitate following the legal route. What are acceptable reasons for a landlord to pursue the eviction process

Reasons to Pursue the Eviction Process 

There are several reasons why a landlord may choose to start eviction proceedings, including non-payment of rent, illegal activities, a cancelled or expired lease, property damage, lease violations, as well as health and safety risks. The reasons for eviction of a tenant are as follows:

1. Failure to Pay Rent

Non-payment of rent is the most likely cause of eviction. The tenant has an obligation to pay rent in exchange for occupation of the landlord’s property. A landlord is within their rights to proceed with the legal eviction process in the event that a tenant fails to pay rent when it becomes due. 

2. Illegal Activities

Criminal and illegal behaviour of any sort that takes place on the landlord’s property may lead to eviction. If a tenant is involved in illegal and criminal activity, this may constitute a breach of the conditions of the lease. Landlords may proceed with legal proceedings to remove the tenant from the property.

3. Expiration of the Lease Agreement 

At times, a landlord may face a tenant that simply continues to occupy the property after their lease agreement expires or has been terminated. If notice was given in line with legislative guidelines and in line with the lease agreement, the renter has no legal foot to stand on. They are required to vacate the  landlord’s property. However, it may be necessary to go to court to start the eviction process in order to remove the occupant. 

4. Breach of the Lease

Rental violations are another common reason why a tenant may be evicted. The conditions of the rental agreement are legally binding, and the landlord may terminate the lease in the event that a breach is not resolved timeously. Violations that frequently occur include, subletting without permission, nuisance complaints, unauthorised inhabitants or long-term guests, and using the property for non-agreed upon purposes.  

5. Health and Safety Concerns 

In extreme circumstances, renters might make your home a health code violation, affecting the wellbeing of others as well as themselves. If attempts to resolve the matter are unsuccessful, landlords may pursue legal action. The landlord may employ the services of an experienced attorney to ensure that the eviction process is pursued in accordance with the laws and the Prevention of Illegal Eviction From and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act. 

6. Property Damage

A renter may cause property damage through neglect or ignorance, or as a result of malicious intentions. The damage caused to the landlord’s property can easily amount to losses exceeding hundreds of thousands. For there to be sufficient grounds for eviction, the damage must be significant, and the claim of wrongdoing must be substantiated with evidence. 

Alan Levy Attorneys: Eviction Attorneys in Johannesburg 

The eviction process can be a complicated process to navigate without proper legal assistance. Thus, it is critical to enlist the help of expert eviction attorneys, such as Alan Levy Attorneys, to ensure swift and smooth resolution. 

This article does not replace professional consultation with an attorney and is not intended as legal advice. This article should be seen as an educational summary of the applicable legislation and procedures pertaining to evictions, the proper legal process to evict a tenant, as well as the applicable legislation pertaining to evictions in South Africa. Should you require legal assistance to evict a tenant, Contact Alan Levy Attorneys today.

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