We bought property, and tenants refuse to move out – please help!

A family friend recently bought a property with vacant occupation, however the previous owner and tenants refuse to move out. It has been almost four months and the new owner is not getting any rental. What must the new owner do in this case?

According to Kim Bam, the old South African principle of “Huur Gaat Voor Koop” applies to all properties being sold under normal circumstances with a tenant already in place. What does the “Huur Gaat Voor Koop” principle stipulates? The “Huur Gaat Voor Koop” principle stipulates that if a lease is signed before the property was legally sold, the lease agreement will survive the sale, in simple terms this means that once the property is registered in the Deeds Office under the new owner’s name, the new owner then become the landlord until the lease agreement term expires.

Therefore failure to pay rental promptly and in full constitutes a breach of the lease, which entitles the landlord to cancel the lease, evict the tenant and claim arrear rental and damages from the tenant.

It would therefore be recommended to start the eviction proceedings immediately once the lease agreement has been cancelled since this could be a lengthy process.

How do you go about eviction process?

Evictions need to be done following the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, 1998 9pie act) the purpose of the PIE Act is on the one hand to provide for the prohibition of illegal eviction and on the other to provide procedures for the eviction of unlawful occupiers.

An important condition a buyer can include to protect himself is to agree with the seller that should the tenants not be out on the date of transfer and the buyer has to institute legal action for eviction, the seller will be liable for the cost thereof. Furthermore another condition a buyer can include is that should the tenants not be out on transfer, the buyer will be entitled to occupational rent from the seller on the agreed amount until the tenants vacate the property.

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