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eviction lawyer Archives | Eviction Lawyers South Africa

David Mabuza’s assurance was misleading

By | COVID 19, Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Expropriation Bill, Farm evictions

Four months after the Deputy President, David Mabuza, assured South Africans that no farmer will be evicted from their farms under the government’s land redistribution programme, Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) officials have been going around giving farmers one-week notices to vacate their farms.

On 22 October 2020, while answering questions in the National Assembly on the government’s planned 700 000 hectare land redistribution programme, Mabuza unambiguously stated that “…those people that are currently occupying those farms (identified for redistribution), I don’t think there is any intention to forcefully remove people at this point in time”.

Mabuza’s assurance was obviously misleading because Mr Ivan Cloete, a successful pig farmer at Colenso farm in the Western Cape was recently served with a 7-day notice to vacate his farm by officials from the DALRRD’s Western Cape provincial offices. The claim by these officials that Mr Cloete does not qualify to continue practising his farming activities at Colenso farm is nothing but naked abuse of power designed to intimidate him into giving up his livelihood. The DA will not stand by and allow the use of dubious eviction orders to harass and victimise a defenceless farmer.

The unfair treatment of Mr Cloete appears to confirm well-founded fears among farmers that 700 000 hectare scheme was now being used as a cover by DALRRD officials to intimidate them into vacating their farms. What makes this state-sanctioned intimidation worse is that the farms of some of the farmers facing this intimidation do not form part of the 700 000 hectare program.

The DA has always been on record arguing that the chaotic approach to land reform will open up avenues for corrupt abuse of the process and disrupt the agricultural sector:

On 10 March 2020, I warned members of the Portfolio Committee that, even without data or information on the monitoring and evaluation of land reform, Departmental officials had been issuing eviction notices haphazardly.

During a committee session on 01 December 2020, I told committee members that farmers in the Western Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga who have been on the land for years, had received letters to vacate in the past year.

It is ominous that while the controversial section 25 amendment is being debated in Parliament, farmers are already facing unrelenting pressure to vacate their farms from a Department that has gone rogue. Mabuza and his colleagues in government have an obligation to stop this reckless targeting of farmers before it inflicts irreparable damage to the agricultural sector and the economy.

Reprinted from Politics Web by Annette Steyn

Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a firm of specialist eviction lawyers, based in Cape Town and now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or if you are facing unlawful eviction.

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Protest over ’heartless’ manner in which elderly are being moved from Cape Flats old-age homes

By | COVID 19, Eviction news, Eviction notice, Eviction orders, Eviction videos, Evictions, Protests
In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today. Picture: Vanessa Adrianse
In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today. Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

Cape Town – The Cape Peninsula Organisation for the Aged (CPOA) has been slated over the ’’heartless’’ manner in which it has gone about closing three old-age homes on the Cape Flats due to financial constraints brought on by the Covid-19 lockdown.

In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today, with only 50 people taking part due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations. Nerina Place has about 100 residents.

The protesters comprise residents from Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel and Heideveld.

The Nerina Place residents are due to be moved tomorrow and the protesters want it to be suspended with immediate effect. They are also calling for a thorough audit to be done of the CPOA’s books, urging the government to step in immediately.

Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

The CPOA said in a statement last month Nerina Place, Lilyhaven Place in Bonteheuwel and Oakhaven in Heideveld are being shut down. Despite subsidies from the Department of Social Development, the CPOA said it has accumulated losses amounting to R265 million in the past 10 years.

It added that ’’after long and intensive discussions between senior management and the board of directors, CPOA has decided it must close three of its five welfare homes’’.

Vanessa Adrianse, from Heideveldt Mothers For Justice, is incensed by the fact that there has been no consultation with the community regarding the old-age homes being closed down.

Adrianse believes it is tantamount to an “eviction’’. She says the community would have found a solution had they been consulted.

’’All the community organisations in Heideveld have partnered on this protest. Why must the elderly be moved during the heart of the Covid pandemic? The CPOA is heartless and there has been no consultation with the community organisations.

Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

’’Where are they taking these people? We haven’t been informed. If they are closing down because of a lack of funding, the CPOA could have come and spoken to us and we could have made a plan. We could have taken over and applied to government for assistance.

’’The old people are sitting on the stoep of the old-age home at the moment and pleading with us to prevent them from being evicted. Saying the elderly are being ’moved’ is just a nice way of saying they are being evicted, because if someone doesn’t want to go, then you force them.

’’Sometimes their families don’t care about them any more and then after so many years, they become each other’s family.

’’They don’t want to be moved. They are happy here. Some of them are not from Bishop Lavis and they get visits like once every two months. Now they are moving further away.

’’Surely they won’t have place for everyone in one place. If they are all going to one place, why move them from a place where they are comfortable.

“If there is enough funding to take them to another place, then why don’t they use the funds to keep them here.

“Other questions that need answering are about what will happen to the pension and income of the old people here. Why not use that pension to help sustain them?’’

There is also a concern that if they don’t rent out the rooms to people in the area when it closes down, gangsters will vandalise the building and people in the area won’t be safe.

“That is why we are protesting here today, to highlight all these issues,’’ said Adrianse.

Reprinted from IOL

Links added by SD Law

*Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a firm of specialist eviction lawyers in Cape Town, and now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or sdippenaar@sdlaw.co.za if you need advice on the eviction process or want to know the cost of eviction.

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What’s covered by the rental deposit

By | Lease Agreement, Rent, Rental deposit, Rental Housing Act

This article, from the Personal Finance section of Independent Online, is a clear and helpful explanation of the purpose of the rental security deposit.

rental deposit
File Image: IOL

Reprinted from iol.co.za – 2020-10-06

Following a period of lockdown restrictions that put severe pressure on the income levels of many households, some landlords have had to go through the costly process of applying for a court order to evict defaulting tenants. Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive officer of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, explains that the rental deposit exists largely to protect the landlord against defaulting tenants and the lengthy, expensive process that is involved to evict them.

According to Goslett, tenants are protected by the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, No. 19 of 1998, also known as the PIE Act. If the correct procedures are followed, it can take at least eight to 10 weeks for an eviction order to be granted during which time the landlord is out of pocket. “Besides the fact that the landlord is not getting a rental income from the defaulting tenant during that period, they will also have to pay legal costs. An unopposed eviction could cost between R12 000 and R20 000 in legal costs plus disbursements, while the cost of an opposed matter will be substantially more. Section 5 of the Rental Housing Act, No. 50 of 1999 states that a landlord is legally entitled to request a deposit from their tenants. This deposit can be used to help cover these legal costs,” he explains.

With this in mind, most landlords request a deposit from their tenants before they move into the property. The amount that the tenant will be required to pay as a deposit is stipulated in the lease agreement. Conventionally, the rental deposit amount is equal to anywhere from one to even three months’ rent.

“When a tenant pays the deposit, the landlord is required by the Rental Housing Act to place the money in an interest-bearing account, held with a financial institution. The tenant is within their rights to request a statement of the interest earned on the money at any time during their tenancy. Even though the deposit is paid to the landlord, it remains the tenant’s money. The landlord is merely holding the money as a security measure, should the tenant default or breach the rental agreement. If the tenancy runs its normal course, the deposit along with all interest earned on the money must be paid over to the tenant at the end of the lease agreement period,” says Goslett.

However, he warns that the landlord is entitled to deduct from the rental deposit any expenses incurred repairing any damage to the property which occurred during the tenancy. “The remainder of the money must then be refunded to the tenant no later than 14 days after the restoration of the property as dictated by the Act. If repairs are done, the tenant can request to see all repair receipts to confirm that the money was spent to repair the damage they did to the property. The landlord cannot use the deposit for general maintenance or upkeep of the property. If there is no damage to the property, the full deposit and interest must be paid to the tenant within seven days of the lease’s expiration date,” he explains.

Should any disputes arise between the landlord and the tenant regarding the rental deposit, Goslett recommends they can turn to the province’s Rental Housing Tribunal. “The tribunal assists to mediate and resolve disputes between the parties. Before entering into a rental agreement, both the tenant and the landlord should familiarise themselves with their legal rights regarding the tenancy and the rental deposit. Knowledge of the relevant procedures can help prevent unpleasant and costly disputes down the line,” he said.

Links added by SD Law.

Do you have questions about your lease agreement or rental deposit?

Whether you are tenant or landlord, if you have questions or concerns about your existing lease agreement or security deposit, contact Eviction Lawyers for a confidential discussion. We will explain your rights and responsibilities to ensure a worry-free tenancy. Contact Simon now on 086 099 5146 or email him on info@sdlaw.co.za.

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