‘Eviction order denied!’ - how to avoid this pitfall in one easy step

Every landlord has the same unexpressed nightmare: ‘Eviction order denied!’ And nowadays, many well-intentioned landlords actually hear those words in Court … in slow motion no doubt, as they process the financial spiral of death they find themselves trapped in with no clear way out. The obvious question then is, why do so many Eviction Applications go so horribly wrong? 

Managing Director of TPN Credit Bureau, Michelle Dickens brings some clarity to the confusion, “A landlord’s case may be full of merit but if a verbal negotiation regarding outstanding rental has taken place where the landlord has allowed the tenant to make payment later than the rental due date, the tenant is able to rely on the defence that an informal payment plan was entered into with the landlord. As a result, the non-paying tenant is not an illegal occupant and a Judge will not be able to grant an Eviction Order at that time.” 

Deon Botha, CEO of RentMaster deals with the issue of creeping or encroaching debt and the effect it has on a landlord’s options in terms of legal recourse on a daily basis: “It is a classic almost predictable scenario, the tenant promises to pay the rent next week but then somehow only manages to pay it the week thereafter; the landlord who invariably is very busy notices that there has been an additional week’s delay in payments the week following that. This is exactly how months of arrears build up and how you find yourself in a dysfunctional relationship with a tenant. It happens more frequently than you would imagine.’

What exactly then is a stonewalled landlord to do? And perhaps more importantly, how can you avoid this pitfall all together? 

Eviction specialist attorney and managing director of SSLR Inc., Cilna Steyn sheds light on the one simple step you can take to protect yourself where you have a delinquent tenant on your hands, “It is imperative that you record all agreements in writing. In the event that the Rental Housing Amendment Act comes into full force, it will be a requirement that all rental agreements be in writing, so you may as well start now. Besides impending legislative requirements, by signing an Acknowledgment of Debt, you enter into a separate contractual agreement for the amount owing and so ensure that the tenant is not under the mistaken impression that the rental due date has been extended. If the tenant is under that impression or pretends to be under the impression that they have been granted an extension, your Application for an Eviction Order will be delayed.”

Michelle Dickens fully agrees adding that “the importance of signing an Acknowledgment of Debt with a tenant who does not perform should not be underestimated if you need to obtain an Eviction Order at any point in the future. 

We strongly advocate that our clients take pro-active steps to ensure that they are in a position of power when it comes to the worst-case scenario. Luckily, this involves a very easy step to take as a landlord can download an Acknowledgment of Debt agreement directly from the TPN website. Alternatively, you can simply avoid all this by guaranteeing your rent is in the bank on the first of every month through RentMaster.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 25 May 2018
      Reliable public transport systems moving a mass of commuters to and from work, keep a city’s economy moving. Not only do they have a positive impact on economic growth, successful rail links also influence property values.
    • 25 May 2018
      The live, play and visit environment that Centurion Residential Estate & Country Club offers continues to attract buyers looking for a very specific lifestyle and ambiance.
    • 25 May 2018
      As expected, the Monetary Policy Committee kept the repo rate stable, with analysts and market commentators ahead of yesterday's announcement (24 May 2018) pointing to a more hawkish stance amid a weaker rand, somewhat less stable global environment, and an eye on the inflation outlook – coupled with the increase in VAT and sizeable hike in the price of fue
    • 24 May 2018
      Most real estate professionals agree that 2017 was one the toughest years to date; an eminently challenging 12 months that subdued even the strongest markets - including the country’s economic powerhouse of Sandton.
    • 24 May 2018
      These are uncertain and challenging times for the real estate industry, but the non-profit organisation Rebosa is fighting for their interests and finding pragmatic solutions to industry issues such as the urgent need to fast-track transformation says Richard Gray, Rebosa chairman.
    • 24 May 2018
      The decision to invest in property isn’t one that’s taken lightly, or dealt with flippantly. The same should ring true when deciding on an estate agent partner to handle the letting out of your property.
    • 23 May 2018
      Homeowners who are thinking of selling and “trading up” to a bigger or a better home had better be quick now if they want to get the best deal.
    • 23 May 2018
      The new Loftus Park development in Arcadia is really going to boost the demand for homes and rental accommodation close by and the neighbouring suburb of Sunnyside, says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of estate agency group RealNet Holdings.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us