Tenancy laws protect all

THE South African law of tenancy does not allow either the landlord or tenant to take the law into their hands.

THE South African law of tenancy does not allow either the landlord or tenant to take the law into their hands.

Parties have rights and duties and they must be respected regardless of whether the contract is verbal or in writing.

Landlords cannot just evict a tenant without proper notification. But Consumer Line found that this was happening in Hillbrow and tenants' belongings were unlawfully kept as a lien.

Take the case of Fannie Moloi whose landlord locked him out without notice.

Moloi entered into a verbal contract of lease with David Thabatha.

It was a periodic contract which was renewable every first day of the months that he paid his rent, said Moloi.

This month he could not pay his rent and requested his landlord, Thabatha, to give him time until the end of this month.

"But Thabatha responded by locking me out. I could not enter the premises," he said.

He confiscated his belongings and told Churchill Court security not to let him in.

An arrogant Thabatha told Consumer Line it had no right to tell him how to run his business. "You can't tell me how to run my business," he bellowed in isiXhosa. But, he admitted he did not issue receipts to clients and that he had locked Moloi out because he had not paid his June rent.

He later offered to resolve Moloi's matter.

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