Once upon a time there was a dreadful tenant… who are we kidding? This happens far more often than once upon a time! Allow the knight in shining armour, utility disconnection application, to change your non-paying tenant nightmare into a profitable investment fairy tale. Owners and agents are no longer limited to letters of demand, cancellation letters and evictions. These are all powerful weapons available to us in our ever-growing battle against defaulting tenants, but recently we’ve added a very powerful catapult to the buy-to-let investor’s arsenal.

The owner of a property is required to continue to supply utilities to the property even when the occupant is in illegal occupation. The reason for this is that utility supply is incidental to occupation, so disconnection without a court order amounts to spoliation, as this is seen by our law as deprivation of possession. The effect of this to the owner is that, she is not just losing the monthly rental income, but must incur the actual expense of utility supply.

Obtaining an eviction order, to remove the non-paying tenant as soon as possible, is always our primary focus, but due to the technicality of the eviction process it may sometimes take a few weeks longer than we were all hoping for. While patiently waiting for the eviction process to unfold, in compliance with the court rules and legislation, your utility bills are continuing to stream in, and so are your sleepless nights. The solution to this drama is to run a separate application to have the illegal occupant’s water supply limited and the electricity supply disconnected parallel to the eviction. This is a valuable treasure for the property industry which is aimed at softening the blow to owners when dealing with an illegal occupant refusing to vacate.

Don’t be trapped by the utility consuming dragon, allow the knight in shining armour to flick the switch on your troubles.

Does ESTA allow for the eviction of unlawful occupants?

Does ESTA allow for the eviction of unlawful occupants?

Does ESTA allow for the eviction of unlawful occupants?In simple terms, South African law requires residential evictions of long-term land occupants and labour tenants to comply with the Extension of Security of Tenure Act 62 of 1997 (‘ESTA’). However, whether the Act...

Protections Afforded to Tenants by the Consumer Protection Act

Protections Afforded to Tenants by the Consumer Protection Act

Protections Afforded to Tenants by the Consumer Protection ActAt the forefront of consumer protection law in South Africa is the Consumer Protection Act (the “CPA”). Section 14 of the CPA is of particular importance to the landlord-tenant relationship, but it may not...

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