‘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
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Possibly one of the biggest sources of contention between landlords and tenants surrounds the rental deposit. “Most tenants rely on getting their rental deposits back when moving, so that they can use it to pay a deposit on their new home. Having it withheld or even having large amounts deducted can lead to a lot of distress,” explains Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      The PayProp Rental Index Annual Review of 2017 shows that the rental market suffered from much volatility during the year. It kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year growth (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slight uptick at 5.75% in December.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      While most homeowners will take the agent’s commission into consideration when they are trying to determine what the will get out from the sale of their property, many often forget to factor in the other costs involved in a home sale, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a mixed bag of good news and bad news. Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, it’s a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable income levels.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us