What can an owner of a property do in a situation where his or her tenant refuses to vacate the property?
Unfortunately, and like most things regarding the law, there is no clear cut answer and every case is always unique. However, we will try to simplify and explain the general requirements and procedure, just to give one some general understanding of the procedure.
Only the court can authorize an eviction and the procedure prescribed by the Prevention of Illegal Evictions Act (PIE) has to be followed in order to obtain an eviction order. Since the court procedure and requirements could become very technical, owners are well advised to seek legal advice from a reputable attorney and advocate operating in this specific field of law. To summarize the procedure briefly, an eviction matter might entail the following:
However and very often, Occupiers without any legal right or entitlement to occupy a property do not oppose matters and the court will normally grant an eviction order if all the legal and procedural requirements are met. When the court grants an order of eviction, it has a discretion as to the time period as to when the property should be vacated. Normally it might be 30 days (which is court days) from date of service of the court order on the Illegal Occupier, but might differ depending on circumstances of each case.
It is therefore good to keep in mind that there is a prescribed procedure to follow, as determined by the PIE Act, and an eviction application often take some months, before a final order of eviction is granted.
Therefore should there be a tenant in a property an Agent is marketing, who refuses to vacate, it is advisable to inform a Seller to start the eviction procedure timeously to avoid delays in transfer.