Evicting Your Troublesome Tenant: More Problems with PIE
“The effect of PIE is not and should not be to effectively expropriate the rights of the landowner in favour of unlawful occupiers. The landowner retains the protection against arbitrary deprivation of property. Properly applied, PIE should serve merely to delay or suspend the exercise of the landowner’s full property rights until a determination has been made whether it is just and equitable to evict the unlawful occupiers and under what conditions.” (From judgment below)
Buy-to-let property can be an excellent investment.
Just take into account the possible difficulty, cost and delay of evicting a defaulting tenant – or indeed any unlawful occupier - who refuses to budge. The problem of course is that you have to keep on paying all your property expenses whilst the legal processes grind their way slowly, painfully and expensively through the courts.
It is however an entirely manageable risk if you take steps to do so upfront, and if you have factored it into your initial calculations.
A recent Constitutional Court judgment of Occupiers of Erven 87 and 88 Berea v De Wet N.O. and Another (CCT108/16)  ZACC 18 illustrates.
An expensive 4 year court battle; and counting …
When homelessness is a risk, factor in more delay and cost
PIE requires, as the Constitutional Court put it, that a court only makes an eviction order “after having considered all the relevant circumstances and satisfying itself that it is just and equitable to do so”.
And, said the Court, “An order that will give rise to homelessness could not be said to be just and equitable, unless provision had been made to provide for alternative or temporary accommodation.”
The High Court should therefore have joined the local municipality into the court action, it being the municipality’s duty to provide temporary emergency accommodation. The potential for further delay and cost is obvious.
Jack Crook, Director at DotNews, is well known to law firms as the author of LawDotNews since 2005. Jack’s legal qualifications (LLB Lond and LLB Rhod) are supplemented by many years of practical experience in law, in marketing his own firm, and in helping other small and medium sized professional firms to prosper by using simple, low-cost, effective marketing strategies.
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