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Shaie Zindel
Shaie Zindel, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1248
Experience:  All areas of commercial and contract Law - specialist in property advice.
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I have a tenant in a commercial property who is operating under

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I have a tenant in a commercial property who is operating under a verbal lease agreement. The tenant has confirmed in writing the date on which this verbal lease will cease. On expiry of this verbal lease is the tenant obliged to vacate the property or can they simply stay on.
If they have acknowledged in writing that the lease terminates on that particular date then they must vacate unless you agree otherwise. Please take my advice and start putting everything in writing. Its madness to run such a letting enterprise verbally - its asking for trouble!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The question is what happens if they do not vacate the property.

Then you must evict?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
we dispute the fact that this tenant ever concluded a verbal lease agreement and he claims that the verbal lease agreement expires on the 14th November 2013. This he claims was concluded with a Director who denies the existence of a verbal lease.

Is it unusual that a lease agreement would commence in the middle of the month and not run a calendar month.

How would you advise us to deal with this matter given that we have no certainty that he will vacate the property on the 14th November.

LEt me just make sure I understand what is going on here:


1. There is someone occupying your property without a written lease - he says he concluded a verbal lease which is denied?


2. How did he move in?


3. Has he been paying rent and if so to whom?


If he doesn't vacate even though he has acknowledged the lease is terminating then you can bring a simple eviction application. Send him a letter confirming that the lease terminates on his version on the November date and that you expect him to vacate and that if he doesn't you will be forced to evict him at his cost.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This tenant was a sub-tenant of tenant we had concluded a 10 year lease with. This 10 year lease expired on the 31 December 2011. This tenant was allowed to remain on a monthly basis (not formalized in writing at the time)

The property is to be redeveloped and when we gave this tenant notice he claimed he had agreed a verbal lease on the 15 November 2011 whilst he was still a sub tenant.

Rentals are paid monthly albeit erratically.

We already warned him that we will evict him and he simply ignored that warning.

If we waited for him to vacate the premises on 14 Nov and he does not, how long will that simple eviction process take, bearing in mind the December holiday period.

Would we not be advised to rather institute these proceedings now.

If the application is opposed it could take up to 6 months - if not opposed then you should be done in a month. You cant really apply now because you haven't given him notice and he will definitely oppose on the basis that he has a genuine dispute of fact ie the verbal lease. I wouldn't take the chance.


What I would do is even if its a waste of money, prepare the application and affidavit now - use the redevelopment as a potential ground for urgency. Your attorney must have everything ready to go so that the next day you can launch the application and have the Sheriff on standby to serve. He will have 10 days to oppose and if he doesn't you get into Court and try get an order.

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