About Me

My photo

I am a qualified Attorney. I specialise in Property Law, Commercial Law, Corporate Law and Trusts.
 
Please visit our website at www.prop-law.co.za for more details.
 
I am an elected Committee Member of the Property Committee of the Association of Pretoria Attorneys and through my involvement, I like to ensure that I am constantly at the "sharp-end" of Conveyancing Practice.

I am the elected Chairman on the Gauteng Council of SAPOA. The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) is the biggest and most influential institution in the property industry. SAPOA members control about 90% of commercial property in SA, with a combined portfolio in excess of R150 Billion (about $22 Billion). I am also on the National Council and the National Legal Committee of SAPOA.
 
Member of the Institute of Directors South Africa and Member of the Sirdar Governance Panel.

28 March 2013

What to do if tenants do not pay their rent

Don't hesitate - Call us if you have any landlord/tenant problems.

Before it's too late.

Gareth Shepperson

Click HERE to visit us on Facebook

What to do if tenants do not pay their rent

If a landlord finds himself in a situation where a tenant is not paying his rent, then it is best to initiate legal action as soon as possible to avoid months of lost income in rent, says Michael Bauer, general manager of IHFM, the property management company.

This, however, does have its pitfalls and can take a long time to process, but there are few things that have to be remembered so as to follow the correct procedures and "do things by the book".

A summons will have to be issued, stating the claim for the rent that is outstanding and it is issued via the court by a sheriff. There are, however, two types of summons that the landlord could have served on the tenant: an ordinary summons or a rent interdict.

If the landlord finds that the tenant ignores the summons, he can within ten days of it being delivered apply for a default judgement against the tenant, followed by an Ejectment Order to evict the tenant.

This might be defended by the tenant, so it is best to be sure that the summons is justified. If the landlord owes money to the tenant (perhaps he had paid for repairs that the landlord did not carry out and is waiting for the landlord to refund him) or if a complaint has been lodged with the Rental Housing Tribunal and the complaint relates to repairs that have been requested but not done - in which case the complaint is unfair practice on the landlord's part.

"Tenants cannot just withhold their rent without going through the necessary steps to get the action they need from their landlord," said Bauer.

Once the Rental Housing Tribunal is engaged both landlords and tenants must remember that a subpoena to a hearing from them is as important as a summons from the court and must be acted on. If this is ignored it can be at the risk of a default judgement or contempt of court charge.

Another thing to remember is that a ruling from the Tribunal is equal to a magistrate's court ruling and that prosecution can follow if the subpoena is ignored.

IFHM Press Release

No comments:

Post a Comment