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CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 1591
Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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I have been renting a house for nearly 20 years. In that

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I have been renting a house for nearly 20 years. In that time the landlord has done no repairs at all. We have been paying our rent to a lawyer for more than 10 years. The house was wooden and falling apart so we used the rent paid to the lawyer to rebuild the outside walls with brick. Do we have any squatter rights to this property?

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.

No, unfortunately you do not have any "squatter rights". Those don't exist in SA.

But, you have the right to remain in the property until the landlord proves that you are there illegally, and until the landlord obtains a court order against you ordering you to leave.

The court order is issued in terms of the PIE Act.

Remember, the landlord CAN'T take the law into his own hands and evict you himself. He needs to do it through the correct legally channels - and that means going to Court.

Also, technically you are not allowed to use your rent money to repair the house. You should pay your rent, and then demand that the landlord fixes the house. But you've done it, so it is what it is.

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".

If my are HAPPY with my answer then please click one of the STAR ratings or the SMILEY FACES to rate my answer!

Good luck and best regards,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, we did send many letters to the landlord requesting that the house be repaired for years, but to no avail.

Unfortunately there is no real requirement that the landlord do repairs to the house. If you don't like the house, then you must leave and find somewhere else.

The only requirement (in terms of legislation) is that the house has to be "suitable" for the purposes that it is let. This is a VERY wide term, and basically means that the house has a roof. The doors could be falling off... the windows broken, and that would be fine.

My advice is to find somewhere else to live, or to put in a claim against the landlord for the money you spent on the house.

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.

If you're happy that I've answered your question, please leave positive feedback for me.



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