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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 118636
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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We are operating a guest house in Bethlehem. we have been

Customer Question

we are operating a guest house in Bethlehem.
we have been operating it since 2015 in full knowledge of the municipality but without official permission from the municipality.
about 5 months ago the neighbours suddenly developed a problem, jealousy.
they brought an interdict to stop us.
we defended the interdict but bad representation by our team caused us to loose the defence.
the judge's verdict makes no sense at all, he contradicts himself in his own passing and explanation of his judgement.
we are not happy with the verdict.
what are our options?
what happens if we just simply ignore the judgement and just continue with our operations?
our formal application for registration as a guest house is in the hands of the municipality.
there are approximately 42 applications before the board,, our is of the last and it seems that it could take years for the application to be assessed.
can we force the municipality to act sooner?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Just because you had operated since 2015 in violation of the law, with knowledge of the municipality, does not mean you acquired any legal rights. If the court issued a judgment against you and you ignore the order and do not file an appeal and motion to stay the order, then the court can hold you in contempt and charge you monetary fines or can even put you in jail for violating the court order.
If you believe the order/judgment is contradictory, then you have 30 days to file an appeal to the court of appeals and challenge the ruling and to ask for a stay of enforcement of the order pending appeal and if you are not happy with your prior legal representation, you need to get a new attorney to bring your appeal.
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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
thank you for the reply.
is there not an amendment under the constitutional law that allows the owner of a property to let out rooms for an income?
if I remember correctly you can rent out 3 rooms.
I remember hearing somebody saying that the democratic rights of property owners are now protected by the constitutional court?
something saying that you are allowed to generate an income for yourself and family.
not to sure exactly what was said.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

I am afraid that under the law "transient rentals" or "short term" rentals would not be so protected. I am afraid that you are not remembering correctly, you must have a permit. If you want to rent up to 3 rooms to long term tenants, not short term, you can do so, but as a guest house with short term tenants the judge was correct.