Tenants who fail to pay their rent are a major headache for landlords and although tenants enjoy significant protection in South Africa, there are remedies for landlords who follow the process of law. Just over 6% of tenants in South Africa were not paying rent as at the end of 2017, says Michelle Dickens, MD of credit bureau Tenant Profile Network, which does a quarterly survey on tenant payments. The number of nonpaying tenants varies according to rental category. Tenants who fail to pay most often are those paying rent of below R3000 a month (12.35%) and those paying above R25000 a month (6.95%), according to the TPN survey. Jacques du Toit, a partner at Guthrie & Theron Attorneys in the Overberg, says it is illegal to kick out a tenant and change the locks, even if the tenant has become an illegal occupant. The Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act stipulates procedures for the eviction of unlawful occupants and prohibits unlawful evictions. For...

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