Tag Archives: Consumer Protection Act

How to evict an illegal tenant

B1

Landlords who have tenants that they believe are occupying their premises illegally may not forcefully remove such tenants. The Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (No. 19 of 1998) provides for the prohibition of unlawful eviction and also provides proper procedures for the eviction of unlawful occupiers.

According to the Act:

  • no one may be deprived of property except in terms of law of general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property;
  • no one may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances;
  • it is desirable that the law should regulate the eviction of unlawful occupiers from land in a fair manner, while recognising the right of land owners to apply to a court for an eviction order in appropriate circumstances;
  • special consideration should be given to the rights of the elderly, children, disabled persons and particularly households headed by women, and that it should be recognised that the needs of those groups should be considered;

Procedure regarding evictions in terms of the PIE Act:

  1. According to the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), to cancel a fixed-term lease you must give the tenant at least 20 business days’ notice to rectify a material breach of the lease, failing which the lease will be cancelled.
  2. After 21 days, you can send the tenant a letter to cancel the lease. The letter should state that the tenant is now deemed to be occupying the property unlawfully and that he or she must vacate the premises by a specific date.
  3. If the tenant/occupier has not left the premises by the date mentioned in the letter of cancellation, then your lawyer can lodge an eviction application, which includes seeking the court’s permission to serve a notice of motion on the occupier.

References:

  • Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (No. 19 of 1998), South Africa
  • “How to evict a tenant (lawfully)”, Mark Bechard, Personal Finance, IOL. https://www.iol.co.za/personal-finance/how-to-evict-a-tenant-lawfully-2059984

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

POPI Act

A2The Protection of Personal Information Bill, which will soon become law and is commonly referred to as POPI, seeks to regulate the processing of personal information.

It must be read with other relevant statutes such as:

  1. Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (‘ECT’)
  2. Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2002 (‘PAIA’)
  3. Regulation of Interception of Communications Act 70 of 2002 (‘RICA’)
  4. Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (‘CPA’)

Personal information of both employees and clients is – given e-commerce and technology used in connecting businesses – becoming instantly accessible to third parties.

POPI aims to introduce certain protection principles to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information. There are eight information protection principles contained in chapter 3 of the Bill, namely:

Accountability; Processing limitation; Purpose specification; Further processing limitation; Information quality; Openness; Security safeguards; Data subject participation. 

The intention is to promote transparency with regard to what information is collected and how it is to be processed. This might be the end of all those unsolicited sales calls and spam we receive on a daily basis. 

Processing means broadly anything done with personal information, including collection, usage, storage, dissemination, modification or destruction (whether such processing is automated or not).

POPI compliance involves capturing the minimum required data, ensuring accuracy, and removing data that is no longer required. These measures are likely to improve the overall reliability of the organisation’s databases.

Compliance further demands identifying personal information and taking reasonable measures to protect the data, like tracking the workflow of client documents and ensuring that vital information is not misplaced or falls into the wrong hands.

The POPI Act is very much in line with similar legislation that exists in about 70 to 80 other countries, and South Africa is finally set to fall in line with international standards for the collection and handling of personal information.

The Act does not only protect the way in which information is used and/or re-used by the recipients of the information, but the party gathering the information also has the responsibility to ensure it is accurate, current and not misleading. Personal Information may only be processed if voluntary, specific and informed consent is obtained.

An Information Protection Regulator will be appointed who will have broad powers and may consider the public interest as opposed to an individual’s rights to privacy.

There are, however, cases where POPI does not apply. Section 4 Exclusions include:

  1. purely household or personal activity;
  2. sufficiently de-identified information;
  3. some state functions including criminal prosecutions, national security etc.;
  4. journalism under a code of ethics;
  5. judiciary functions etc.

Reference:

  1. http://www.popi-compliance.co.za/
  2. http://www.saaci.co.za/

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.