oa De Rebus - Equity for tenants

Volume 1999, Issue 377
  • ISSN : 0250-0329



The Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 (the Act) represents a great step forward in the fight for the rights of occupiers of land in general and tenants in particular. The common law was cruel to occupiers and tenants who faced eviction. Now the Act provides for 'just and equitable' circumstances to be taken into account before the eviction of an unlawful occupier is ordered. The Act repeatedly emphasises fairness to the unlawful occupier. Even though it does not mention tenants expressly, I submit that tenants who have had their leases terminated in terms of the Act, and who remain in occupation, would fall within the definition of 'unlawful occupier' in the Act. Owners of land who wish to employ the rei vindicatio to get occupiers off their land are also affected by the Act.

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