Scenario : You are the landlord who has a tenant in your property. The tenant is a slow or a non-payer and has fallen into arrears in terms of the rent monies. You have a suspicion that the tenant will try and vacate the premises without informing you and you are worried that you will lose out on the rental that the tenant owes. What remedies do you have regarding the rental?
One of the remedies a Landlord enjoys is a special protection assisting in the collection of arrear rental from tenants, which is called the “LANDLORD’S HYPOTHEC”. Although this sounds fancy and complicated it is a fairly simple concept. The protection applies to Residential, Commercial and Industrial properties.
The legal principle allows the Landlord the Right to have the movable goods of the tenant attached by the Sheriff which are on the leased premises. This attachment is made at the same time of the serving of the Summons and therefore a landlord does not have to wait for a judgement.
By attachment, we mean that the lessee may not remove the goods from the premises without the consent of the landlord. The attached goods therefore serve as security for the outstanding rental.
Should the tenant remove the attached goods he/she will have committed a criminal offence and the landlord would be able to approach the SAPS and lay criminal charges against the tenant.
This scenario comes across our desks every day and it is astonishing how many Landlords are not aware of their Rights in terms of the law.
Should you be in a scenario similar to this we suggest you approach an attorney as soon as possible to as to avoid missing out on the opportunity.
Article contributed by Juan Vorster of Tuckers Inc.