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ESTA Evictions

Extension of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA)

ESTA applies only to occupiers of rural or peri-urban land, whose occupation is, or was, lawful in that they resided on the land with the consent of the owner. Occupiers under ESTA may not earn more than R5 000 per month. The Act permits the landlord to terminate the consent on any lawful ground, provided the termination is just and equitable under the circumstances.

Following the termination, the landlord must give 2 calendar months written notice – to the tenant, the local municipality and the provincial Department of Land Affairs – of its intention to seek the occupant’s eviction.

Occupiers who were resident on or before 4 February 1997 may only be evicted if their conduct has, in some way, been blameworthy and it is they who are responsible for the breakdown in the relationship with the owner-landlord.

With regard to occupiers whose residence commenced after 4 February 1997, the court may grant an order for eviction if it considers it just and equitable to do so, having taken into consideration the terms of the lease, the fairness of those terms, the availability of alternative accommodation, the reason for the eviction, and the balance of interests of the landlord, tenant and other occupiers of the land.

Jurisdiction

The Magistrates’ Court and the Land Claims Court has jurisdiction to grant orders in terms of ESTA.  The High Court does not have the normal inherent jurisdiction, but would have jurisdiction to grant an eviction in terms of ESTA should both parties consent to the jurisdiction of the High Court in these matters.

(Extract from The Landlord’s Guide)

 

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