A weekly tip: The deposit belongs to the tenant and the Landlord is required to keep same in an interest bearing savings account for the benefit of the tenant.
Frequently asked questions
Who has more rights, the Landlord or the Tenant?
Both have shared rights and responsibilities, most importantly they must always act in good faith. Each one bears the responsibility to educate themselves about their rights and obligations when entering into a Landlord-Tenant relationship. This is true for both commercial and residential property rental agreements. When in doubt, obtain professional legal advice.
I’ve heard a lot about the difficulties with evicting Tenants, is there any point?
A. It is important to remember that, as a Landlord, when you are evicting someone, whatever the reason, you are putting that person out of their home or their business. This requires a measure of sensitivity and understanding. This does not mean that you do not have rights as the Landlord, the courts are obligated to grant an eviction order where all the correct steps have been taken. For example, all relevant notices have been sent and correct time periods have been adhered to.
B. Ensuring that a Tenant is an unlawful occupier is the most important aspect of any eviction process, as it forms the reason for the application. It is vital that the breach and termination notices are delivered correctly before any eviction application can begin. If in doubt obtain professional legal advice.
My errant Tenant doesn’t have anywhere to go, do I really have to find them alternative accommodation?
A. This is situation dependent and it is only applicable in the case of residential evictions. There is a duty on the Landlord to provide alternative accommodation options, for example, adverts for similar rentals in the area.
B. In respect of private evictions (the most common type) the above may be sufficient.
C. Where there are difficult socio-economic concerns (e.g. multiple families on a site, female/child headed households, minors, unemployed persons or disabled persons) it may be necessary to include the municipality to assist with finding alternative accommodation.
D. This aspect is severely influenced by the circumstances of the case and there is no one size fits all solution unfortunately. Always obtain professional legal advice if you are faced with any of these category of Tenants.
How long does it take?
A. An unopposed eviction takes approximately 2 to 3 months
B. Opposed evictions are circumstance dependent
What documents do you need?
Documents required for eviction:
- Written lease agreement, if applicable or confirmation of the terms of any verbal or tacit lease agreement
- Proof of ownership or confirmation of who the person in control of the property is
- Documents proving breach, such as:
- Statement showing outstanding arrears for rent or electricity or similar; and/or
- If the relationship has been terminated for any other reason, the termination notice together with confirmation of delivery is required.