Provided the correct eviction procedures are followed in accordance with the applicable Act, a landlord is entitled to evict a non-paying or undesirable tenant and to obtain judgement to recover losses, damages and legal costs.

The Act applicable to a particular eviction situation would depend on the type of occupant to be evicted e.g. commercial and industrial property evictions would typically involve civil litigation around the terms of the lease agreement and other circumstances and merits which may be relevant.

As regards residential leases, when disputes arise between tenants and landlords, the provisions of the PIE Act must be followed in the eviction of a problem tenant. Another one of these regimes available for the eviction of residential evictions is ESTA which applies to the eviction of occupiers of land. These typically include people who live in rural areas, on farms and on undeveloped land and also protect people living on land that is encircled by a township or land within a township that is marked for agricultural purposes.

The complexity of legislation dealing with the eviction process necessitates that a knowledgeable eviction attorney be consulted.

 

Eviction Notice

To initiate the eviction process, the unlawful occupiers need to be notified of the property owner’s intention to have them evicted. An application is brought to the Court to have a written notice served on the occupant, stating the owner’s intention to evict. The tenant’s reaction to this notice of eviction could influence the cost and duration of the eviction process.

 

Cost of Eviction

In the event of an unopposed eviction, an experienced eviction attorney is usually able to estimate the cost of the eviction process and charge the landlord accordingly. It should be borne in mind that an occupier can at any stage during the eviction process choose to oppose the landlord’s eviction application or to vacate the premises. Each of which could impact significantly on the cost of the eviction.

 

Spoliation

This brief summary would not be complete without mentioning spoliation. Only the Sheriff of the Court can evict unlawful occupants. Landlords who resort to self-evicting of tenants by any means could even be ordered to pay for the tenant’s legal costs and provide alternative housing on top of that.

To lawfully evict a tenant, the best way to minimize costs and losses is to get it done as quickly and efficiently as possible by a knowledgeable eviction lawyer and avoiding delays in the eviction process.