Arrear rental collections: know your rights

Arrear Rental - eviction lawyers South Africa

Arrear Rental | Whether you have a verbal or written lease, unfortunately, due to a tough economic climate, it is becoming quite common that tenants default on their rental payments.

This is a stressful circumstance for both landlord and tenant but it must be approached with caution and a full knowledge of the rights of each. 

Depending on your specific lease agreement, in general, if a tenant is seven days late in their rental payment, they are then deemed, in the eyes of the law, to be in breach of their lease agreement.

It is up the landlord to inform their tenant of this in writing of the arrear rental, but it does not give the landlord the right to immediately evict their tenant. Through this official notice, a landlord is giving their tenant the opportunity to resolve their breach of the lease agreement. A landlord can blacklist the tenant with the credit bureaus at this point.

In general, if the tenant does not resolve the arrear rental within 20 days, a landlord can only then look at cancelling the lease, and sue for arrear rental, and attach the tenant’s belongings in terms of the landlord’s tacit hypothec. The landlord can also start evicting their tenant. But, a landlord cannot evict their tenant without following the correct legal processes. For that reason, if a tenant has defaulted on their rental payments, a landlord should obtain legal assistance as soon as possible.

For help with collecting arrear rental, or eviction, contact Eviction Lawyers South Africa*, on +27 (0) 86 099 5146 or email

(A division of Simon Dippenaar & Associates Inc., a law firm in Cape Town and Gauteng, consisting of specialised South Africa eviction lawyers and arrear rental attorneys.)

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The information on this website is provided to assist the reader with a general understanding of the law. While we believe the information to be factually accurate, and have taken care in our preparation of these pages, these articles cannot and do not take individual circumstances into account and are not a substitute for personal legal advice. If you have a legal matter that concerns you, please consult a qualified attorney. Simon Dippenaar & Associates takes no responsibility for any action you may take as a result of reading the information contained herein (or the consequences thereof), in the absence of professional legal advice.