THE PIE ACT
In South African law the eviction of a residential tenant is governed by the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act No. 19 of 1988 (PIE Act)
- It protects both occupiers and landowners by providing for the prohibition of illegal eviction on the one hand and procedures for eviction of unlawful occupiers on the other hand.
- It sets out procedures that the landlord must follow to remove an unlawful tenant who :
- Is not paying rental;
- Is a nuisance to the neighbours;
- Causes damage to the property;
- Has a fixed lease which has come to an end and has not been renewed; and
- Has breached provisions of an existing lease
WHO CAN INITIATE PROCEEDINGS
The registered owner of a residential property, including an organ of state, or a person or persons in control of such premises, ie:
* A rental agent who acts on the lawful instructions of the owner;
* A tenant who wants to evict a sub-tenant; or
* An executor of an estate in respect of a residential property.
WHO IS CONSIDERED AS AN UNLAWFUL OCCUPIER
A person who occupies land without the express or tacit consent from the owner or person in charge or without any right in law to occupy such property, ie:
- A defaulting tenant whose lease has been cancelled;
- A defaulting mortgagor whose bond has been cancelled and whose property has been sold in execution;
- A squatter; or
- Any other person who does not have the express consent of the owner or person in lawful control of the premises to occupy the premises.
Once the registered owner or the person or persons in control of the property have cancelled a lease agreement, a tenant is no longer a tenant but an unlawful occupier.
We intend doing a follow up article on the procedures to be followed should a Landlord wish to take legal action to evict an unlawful occupier.