Eviction Process In South Africa (2023)

Eviction refers to the legal process of forcibly removing someone from a property or premises. In South Africa, eviction is regulated by the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE), which outlines the procedures that must be followed to lawfully evict someone from a property.

The Eviction process in South Africa starts when a landlord wishes to remove a tenant from a property due to non-payment of rent, breach of the lease agreement, or other legal grounds. However, eviction can also occur in other circumstances, such as when a property is illegally occupied or when a squatter refuses to vacate a property.

The Eviction Process in South Africa

Under PIE, an eviction can only be carried out with a court order. This means that the landlord or property owner must first apply to the court for an eviction order, which will only be granted if certain legal requirements are met.

Here are the basic steps of the eviction process in South Africa:

  • The written notice: The landlord must provide the tenant with written notice of their intention to evict them. The notice must be delivered to the tenant in person or sent by registered mail. The notice must state the reason for the eviction and provide the tenant with a reasonable amount of time to vacate the property.
  • Court order: If the tenant does not vacate the property within the period specified in the notice, the landlord must apply to the court for an eviction order. The landlord must provide evidence to support their eviction case, and the tenant has the right to defend themselves.
  • Sheriff’s notice: If the court grants the eviction order, the landlord must obtain a writ of execution from the court and provide it to the sheriff, who will then issue a notice to the tenant to vacate the property.
  • Eviction: If the tenant does not vacate the property after receiving the sheriff’s notice, the sheriff will physically remove the tenant and their possessions from the property.

What Is The Cost Of Eviction In South Africa?

The cost of an eviction in South Africa can range from a few thousand to tens of thousands of South African Rand. For example, the legal fees of an attorney to handle an uncontested eviction can range from approximately R5,000 to R10,000. However, if the eviction is contested and goes to trial, the costs can increase significantly.

How Long Does It Take To Carry Out Eviction In South Africa?

If the tenant does not contest the eviction, and the court grants the eviction order, the landlord will need to wait for the sheriff of the court to carry out the eviction. The amount of time this takes can depend on various factors, such as the workload of the sheriff’s office and the availability of resources.

Besides, it can take several weeks to several months to complete the eviction process, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Landlords need to seek legal advice and follow the proper legal procedures to ensure that the eviction process is carried out legally and efficiently.

What Are The Major Reasons For Eviction?

Landlords may carry out eviction for a variety of reasons, but the most common reasons include:

  • Non-payment of rent: The most common reason for eviction is non-payment of rent. If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may begin the eviction process to recover the property and find a tenant who can pay.
  • Breach of lease agreement: If a tenant violates the terms of the lease agreement, such as by damaging the property, causing a nuisance to neighbours, or using the property for illegal activities, the landlord may begin the eviction process.
  • End of lease term: When a lease agreement comes to an end, the landlord may decide not to renew the lease and ask the tenant to vacate the property.
  • Illegal occupation: In some cases, landlords may need to evict tenants who are occupying the property illegally, such as squatters or tenants who have not been granted permission to occupy the property.
  • Personal use: In some cases, landlords may need to evict tenants to use the property for their personal use or the use of a family member.



It is crucial to note that eviction can be a complex and sensitive process, and should only be undertaken as a last resort.

Landlords and property owners should seek legal advice before attempting to evict someone from a property to ensure that they are following the proper legal procedures and avoiding any potential legal repercussions.


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