The Application of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act 19 of 1998 to defaulting mortgagors and property sold at sale in execution

evictionThe purpose of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act No. 19 of 1998 (hereinafter referred to as “PIE”) is to regulate the eviction process in respect of unlawful occupiers. PIE introduces procedures for the eviction of unlawful occupiers to ensure that no one is illegally deprived of property, their home and furthermore to balance the rights of land owners and eviction of unlawful occupiers.

Furthermore, PIE provides procedures for the lawful eviction of an unlawful occupier who is in occupation of land without the permission or consent of the legal owner of the property or person in charge.

In Ndlovu v Ngcobo; Bekker and Another v Jika, it was stated that PIE applies to “any other form of temporary or permanent dwelling or shelter.” In other words, the property must perform the function of dwelling or shelter for humans to fall under the protection of PIE.

Occupiers who become unlawful occupiers because of failing to pay their mortgage and consequently have their properties sold in sale in execution, must be evicted in terms of PIE.

When a person fails to pay their bond, the bond holder will institute legal proceedings. This will result in default judgment or summary judgement which results in the property being foreclosed upon. The property will then be put up for public auction, if the property was declared executable and a writ of execution was issued. The Sheriff will sell the property at public auction will be with or without a lease. The Sheriff will first offer the property with a lease at the auction and, if no bids are made, then the property is offered without a lease.

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