How should a Landlord deal with a non-paying tenant?

Private Property South Africa
Tenant Profile Network

Q&A with Michelle Dickens from the Tenant Profile Network.


Non-Paying tenants are about 1 in 10 tenants and we find that the majority of them will, if you cancel the lease early, vacate the property. You have got about 2% of the tenants where you have extreme cases where they end up in a squat position.

The TPN definition of a squatter is a tenant who sits in a property for 4 plus months without paying any rent. Those are your habitual defaulting tenants. In fact, we find that those tenants target certain individuals with the aim of squatting in a property without paying rent.

In order to action your non-paying tenant, first of all you need to place a quality tenant. If you have, unfortunately, not placed that quality tenant, then you are going to need to start the process of demanding the rent.

In terms of the residential tenant, the majority are natural people, an unfortunately you are going to have to give them 20 business days to remedy that default. If after 20 business days they still remain in breach by not paying the rent, your next step is to cancel the lease. Once the lease is cancelled you have given them notice to vacate. If they remain on the premises after that date, they are now what we call an illegal tenant.

At that point you need to start the eviction process, and that is your court ordered eviction process and then an attorney is unfortunately required.

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