As exciting as it can be to earn an extra income through your rental property, the concerns of legal complications later on in the lease period will always be in the back of your head.

Preferental is proud to be able to assist our landlords with the eviction process. This is made possible through our strategic partnership with Xpello. And best of all is we even cover all the eviction costs as well.

By being a landlord, it is still necessary to familiarise yourself with the process of an eviction. So, how does an eviction process really work?

SSLR Inc. (2019) breaks the eviction process down into four categories:

1. The Notice to Evict
The Notice to Evict is also referred to as an Eviction Letter or Letter of Eviction. The first step in the eviction process is to inform your tenant that you are planning on evicting them. The landlord should give evidence to the Court and the latter will then send out a notice to evict, served on the tenants.

The tenant has three choices, namely to oppose the eviction, ignore it or move out of the property. The decision of the tenant will give the landlord a good indication of what he can expect later on in the eviction process.

2. Ejectment Order

If the notice period has expired, and the tenant is still in the procession of the property, the landlord can apply for a court order known as an “Ejectment order”. The Ejectment order will authorise the Sheriff of the Court to remove the tenant out of the property.

3. Self-evicting the tenants
Some landlords try to evict an undesirable tenant themselves to avoid expensive legal costs, only to get themselves in a much worse predicament than before.

Lock-outs, power-cuts and other such ways to get the tenant to move out, are unlawful and only the Sheriff of the Court has the authority to take similar action. If it comes to light that the landlord used force and intimidation, the tenant may be permitted to stay in the property indefinitely as the landlord’s legal position becomes restricted.

4. Costs
The cost of an eviction process depends on many variables. If the tenant vacates the property after the first notices, the legal fees will be approximately R5000. This process usually takes two weeks.

In the case where the eviction process escalates right up to the Ejectment by the Sheriff of the Court, costs can vary between R20 000 and R22 000 and could take around four to six weeks to complete.

Should the tenant oppose the eviction process, the costs could be as much as R50 000, and it can take up to several months to complete the case.

An eviction process is complex and trying to proceed with it without a lawyer in South Africa is highly unlikely. “If any of the various steps of the eviction procedure are left out, or done out of sequence, the application for an eviction order could be jeopardised, or the eviction process can be delayed,” SSLR Inc, 2019.

Luckily, if you have Preferental on your side, there is no need to worry about evictions anymore.