5 ways to get yourself evicted… and why you shouldn’t cross that line

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

You’re sick and tired of your rented flat or house, but still have a few months to go on the lease – instead of breaking the lease (and be liable for outstanding rent), you decide to get yourself evicted. This is what you can do:

  • Buy a Rottweiler, even though pets are not allowed on the property

  • Annoy the neighbours by playing guitar hero with all speakers blasting at all hours of the night

  • Start suspicious activities on the property that nosy neighbours could think to be an ATM-bombing syndicate or drug manufacturing

  • Cause significant damage to the property

  • Stop paying rent But should you do it? Eviction is not a cheap, simple solution to your (or the landlord’s) problems. (Landlords can also evict tenants who refuse to vacate a property after the lease has expired.) Landlords cannot evict tenants from flats to rent without a court order. A court order, which includes a ruling from the Rental Housing Tribunal, is needed to evict a tenant if the tenant is in breach of contract. First, take steps to strongly urge your tenant to rectify the breach (in writing, and keep copies!). It this doesn’t work, take legal action – either by lodging a complaint with the Rental Housing Tribunal or by appointing an attorney and starting court proceedings. A ruling by the Tribunal is regarded as that of a Magistrate’s Court. Attempts to bring its findings under review must be done before the High Court. A landlord is not, however, allowed to lock out a tenant out of flats to rent by changing locks, or cutting off basic services such as water. Tenants should do everything in their power to avoid eviction. An eviction will be incredibly damaging to your credit record, and will make it extremely difficult to find flats to rent in future. If you want to leave a property because the landlord is in breach of the contract, you can also lay a complaint at the Rental Housing Tribunal. If there are other reasons why you want to leave before the lease expires, it is best to try and reach an amicable solution with the landlord, for example by finding a new tenant to take over your lease.

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