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CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1538
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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Our municipality owns blocks of flats which it rents to

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Our municipality owns blocks of flats which it rents to state pensioners. They have now informed the tenants that they may not have visitors in their flats between 6pm and 6am. There was no consultation and this stipulation did not appear in their lease agreements. Is the municipality acting within the law?

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

In short, No, they are not acting in accordance with the law.

I don't see any way or reason that they can enforce such a limitation. If the pensioners were living in an ICU unit at a hospital, sure - but no ways in a block of flats.

You do need to be aware that the block might have rules requiring guests to sign in at security, or such like - but to limit the times when one can expect a visitor can't past muster. That would most certainly be an infringement on people's constitutional rights.

My advice is for all of the residents to get together and write a letter (signed by everyone) to the municipality (as landlord) and tell the municipality that the new rule is arbitrary, and illogical; that it serves no purpose; that it infringes on their constitutional rights; and that nobody is going to abide by the rule.

Ask the municipality to revoke the rule with immediate effect.

Unfortunately if the municipality enforces the rule through security guards or such like, then the residents will need to hire an attorney and go to court to challenge the rule.

If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - dont just rate my answer as "bad".

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Good luck and best regards,


Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What section of the constitution would apply to this?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Im the ward councillor that the flats are in and have been approached for help by the residents. I am paying for the advice, so cant really afford to pay any more. I thought that the rule was not in line with the constitution but i need to quote the correct section when i challenge it on behalf of the residents.

Perhaps section 10 of the Bill of Rights which deals with people's dignity. If you are not allowed visitors at certain times, are you not treating the resident in the flat like a child, and taking away their dignity?

Section 11 which deals with the right to life.

Section 21 which deals with the right of freedom of movement.

Section 26 which deals with housing. Surely adequate housing means that you can use your house (or flat) to the fullest, and that you are entitled to come and go as you please, and have visitors?

The argument is really that the rule is arbitrary, and illogical; that it serves no purpose.

You should ask the municipality for a copy of the legislation in terms whereof they are making this rule. Remember that the municipality needs to act within the law, and if there is no law that allows them to make access rules for a block of flats, then their actions are outside of the law and illegal.

Hi there again,

I see that you've read my answer and I hope that you understood the answer and that it was useful? If you have a further question please ask it, or if you need clarity on the answer please let me know.

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Hi there Cheryl,

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