In simpler times, landlords and tenants could rely on the provisions of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction (PIE) Act to enforce rights. However, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the inauguration of the Disaster Management Act (DMA) was triggered, bringing with it an array of provisions and restrictions that are unfamiliar to many.
One of the most prevailing effects of the pandemic is the drastic need for eviction orders, as millions have lost their jobs, thus resulting in increasing financial pressures and many people being unable to meet their monthly rental payments.
According to article 37(1) of Government Notice No. R. 1423 of 29 December 2020, “A person may not be evicted from his or her land or home or have his or her place of residence demolished for the duration of the national state of disaster unless a competent court has granted an order authorising the eviction or demolition.”
So what does this mean? This means that for as long as we are under a national state of disaster, no individual (tenant) may be evicted or removed from his/her land, home or place of residence by conventional legal means without a competent court specifically authorising such an eviction. The criteria that the court will examine and utilise is fairly simple: the eviction must be found to be “just and equitable”.
In times like this, where uncertainty plagues our everyday lives, the one thing you can be sure of is your position in the law and your rights. The question as to whether an eviction could possibly be deemed as “just and equitable” remains within the discretion of the judge or magistrate. The merits can be discussed with an attorney who could advise on the reasonable prospects of success.
If you find yourself in either position, as landlord or tenant, please visit our website at www.dejagerattorneys.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.