Evictions: What are your rights as a Landlord?

Table of Contents


You are the registered owner and Title Deed holder of a property. You have resorted to renting out your property for financial relief. The parties have concluded the lease agreement and the commencement date has approached. The tenants move in. You receive the agreed rental for May. Okay, what about the agreed rental for June? Nope. July? Absolutely not! August? Did we even conclude a lease agreement? The bills are piling up and you have no idea how to fix the situation. What are your rights as a Landlord?

The Law

The Preamble of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, 1998 states that, “no one may be disposed of property except in terms of general application and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property. It is desirable that the law should regulate the eviction of unlawful occupiers from land in a fair manner while recognising the right of land owners to apply to Court for an eviction order in the appropriate circumstances.”

The Court is inclined to grant an eviction order if it is proved that: (i) you are the registered owner and title deed holder of the land; (ii) the person occupying your property is an unlawful occupier and (iii) you have reasonable grounds to evict the unlawful occupier, for example: failure to pay their monthly rental.

The Process
Step 1:

Dispatch a Notice to cancel/vacate via registered post to the unlawful occupier, immediately cancelling the lease agreement and giving the unlawful occupier 1 (one) clear calendar’s month notice to vacate the premises.

Step 2:

In the event of the unlawful occupier contesting the notice to cancel/vacate, the Landlord may approach the Court, within the jurisdiction of the whole cause of action, for an Order for their eviction.

Step 3:

The Landlord may then deliver an application for eviction on the unlawful occupier, in the prescribed form. Note that service of the application must be through the Sheriff of Court.

Step 4:

At least 14 (fourteen) days before the hearing of the proceedings, the relevant court must deliver written and effective notice of the proceedings on the unlawful occupier and the municipality having jurisdiction.

Step 5:

The unlawful occupier must oppose the application. In the event of no opposition, the Landlord may obtain a Court Order for the eviction of the unlawful occupier.

Step 6:

In the event that the unlawful occupier refuses to vacate the premises, the Sheriff of the Court will forcefully remove the unlawful occupier together with their belongings.

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