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JJ, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 4502
Experience:  Admitted Attorney 17 years experience
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In our contract with our tenant we had a clause that if they

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In our contract with our tenant we had a clause that if they failed to pay rent, we were allowed to remove items from the property to sell to make up for the loss. The tenant failed to pay rent for 2 months. We could not reach him by phone, email or registered mail. We visited the premises twice and no one was home. After notifying him by email and registered mail that we would enter the premises due to the fact that we could not reach them, we went to the premises and found the key of the house in the door(outside) with no one home. We took photos of this and had a witness. We entered the premises and found no one home and from the state of the contents of the fridge, it looked like no one had been there for a while. We removed most of the valuables and sent the tenant notice that they could pick up these items from us as soon as they paid the rent. We got no answer. Finally we gave final notice that they must vacate the premises and then suddenly got an answer. They moved out, but failed to honour the contract by not cleaning the premises and left all their junk inside. On 3 occasions we asked them to fetch their belongings and gave them 21 days each time to do so. It has now been 3 months since and we cannot reach them and they have not contacted us. Are we now allowed to sell their belongings? Can we still sue them for the amount in arrears which will not be covered by the income from the items recovered?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Thank you for your question.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Please permit me to assist you.

Dimitry K., Esq. :

If I may ask, in what state or locality are you located in, please?


I am actually in South Africa, I was unsure why they sent my question to you being international, but hope you can still assist?

Dimitry K., Esq. :

Not a problem, your question appeared in the US categories, hence why I asked. Please give me a moment to transfer your question to the right category so that a licensed SA professional could assist you. Hold on, please.


Thanks very much!

Hi and welcome!

My name isXXXXX you for giving me the opportunity to assist you.

There is no way that you legally will be able to sell these items. You literally have to go through the legal process of issuing summons, get a judgement granted and then a writ of execution issued. You then attach the items in your possession and then you can continue to sell the items.

As it stands now, you can be sued for the value of the items if they decide to do so. Only a court can order you to sell the items. Unfortunately, to get this done you have to go through the whole process.

This is probably not what you want to hear, but need to warn you in advance before the items in your possession gives you a false sense of security.

Please ask more if not clear.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much JJ! If we cannot get hold of them in any way, how long are we supposed to hold on to the items if only then to ask them to fetch it?


You can serve papers at their domicile s address as stipulated in your agreement. The process can then go ahead as described above.
JJ, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 4502
Experience: Admitted Attorney 17 years experience
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