Moving from Alert Level 3 to 1 - what has changed?

Nothing new for the property industry is the answer! The most pressing question no doubt is whether evictions are allowed under Alert Level 1.

Evictions granted

The Regulations dealing with evictions, demolitions and rental housing remain unchanged from Alert Level 3. Practically, this means that a person may still not be evicted for the duration of the National State of Disaster unless a competent court has granted an order authorising the eviction from or demolition of a home. An eviction order may be suspended by the courts, unless it is not fair and just to do so.

We can confirm that evictions are being granted by the courts but that delays in the proceedings are common. This is due to the court rolls being exceptionally full and the added scrutiny required to determine if it is just and equitable to award an eviction order.

Change to the Unfair Practise Regulations

The Rental Housing Unfair Practice Regulations have been amended to include the failure of a landlord or tenant to engage reasonably and in good faith to make arrangements to cater for the demands of the national state of disaster to be considered as an unfair practice.

This means that negotiations made in good faith prior to an eviction is a must. In practical terms this translates to engaging with all the role players. Settlement is a much more advantageous outcome than eviction will ever be!

Restrictions relaxed

Even if you are not involved in evictions, rental disputes or monetary claims, there has been an overall relaxation of the restrictions to Alert Level 1 which is relevant to all South Africans. These are:

  • The evening curfew will remain in place, but will now run from 00h00 to 04h00.
  • The sale of alcohol is permitted in line with normal licence conditions, but may not be sold during hours of curfew.
  • The maximum number of people at any gathering is 100 for indoor and 250 for outdoor, subject to floor space.
  • Some land border posts remain closed and five international airports will be open.

The wearing of masks is still compulsory, and it remains a criminal offence not to wear a face mask at work and in public.

It is a relief to finally return to a greater sense of normality. The removal and relaxation of certain restrictions will hopefully lead to a decrease in the vacancy rates, an increase in rental payments and overall well-being of the property market.

If any uncertainties pop up as to what is permitted under Alert Level 1, please contact the TPN Helpdesk on 0861 876 000. We are always here, and always happy to help!

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