Landlords must follow the law - even if tenants don't pay, says attorney

Afternoons with Pippa Hudson talks to Marlon Shevelew, specialist rental property attorney and director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates Incorporated about how to legally evict a tenant.

Afternoons with Pippa Hudson spoke to Marlon Shevelew, a specialist rental property attorney and director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates Incorporated, about how to legally evict a tenant.

Shevelew says anyone can be evicted if they are a non-paying tenant, but the law prescribes that it must be done in a legal way.

The rental property attorney adds that if property owners decide to evict tenants in an unlawful manner, the court will not side with them irrespective of whether rent has been paid.

He explains that a spoliation application, a court application that will help put the tenant back onto the property, can be processed a lot faster than an illegal eviction and will also be at the cost of the landlord who took the law into their own hands.

If such landlords take such action and they are caught out, besides the criminal offence, what actually happens is there's a direct application that a tenant who has been unlawfully deprived of occupation can bring that's called the mandament van spolie, it's a spoliation application.

Marlon Shevelew, Specialist rental property attorney

Many landlords don't realise that if you lock out a tenant or you turn off the utilities or you deprive them of the right to be in their property, even if they owe an absolute fortune in rental, they are entitled to go to court on a moment's notice and ask the court to force you to put them back in the property.

Marlon Shevelew, Specialist rental property attorney

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