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Court evicts man from rental home

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The lease agreement was extended to August 31 2017, with the rental going up to R10 000 a month

File photo: African News Agency (ANA)

THE NORTHERN Cape High Court has ruled that John-Ross Henderson must vacate a property he rents in Constantia Avenue in Royldene.

The owners of the property, Getruida Botha/Barnard and Gertruida Fleming, approached the high court to evict Henderson from the property at 1 Constantia Avenue.

The presiding officer in the case, Judge Bulelwa Pakati, ruled that Henderson must vacate the property on or before November 20 2018.

Henderson entered into a one-year lease agreement for the property on September 1 2015, in which he agreed to pay R9 500 a month, as well as the costs for water, electricity, sewerage and refuse.

Agreement

The lease agreement was extended to August 31 2017, with the rental going up to R10 000 a month.

Before the termination of the agreement, Barnard’s attorney, R Gagiano, addressed a letter to Henderson on July 13 2017 informing him that the lease agreement would not be extended and that he would therefore have to vacate the property on August 31 2017.

According to the court, the dispute between the parties started on August 31 2017, with Henderson arguing that the lease agreement was further extended to August 31 2018. At the time Henderson was in arrears to the amount of R60 675.61.

“Notably, Mr Henderson did not vacate the property on August 31 2017 and still occupies it. He last paid rent and the municipal account on January 12 2018 and had refused to make further payments. He is presently in arrears to the amount of R94 961.74. On July 27 2018 the total amount due to the municipal account was R24 829.88. The applicants (Barnard and Fleming) dispute that he effected repairs to the house and that they owe him some money,” Judge Pakati stated.

She added that according to Barnard, her mother is 84 years old and lives in a retirement village in Trompsburg. “The rental generated from the immovable property is required to pay for her accommodation, care and expenses.

“Barnard stated further that if Henderson continued to stay in the house without paying rent she would be unable to pay for her accommodation in the retirement village.”

Pakati pointed out that Henderson does not dispute that the last rental and municipal accounts were made in January 2018. “He states that he stays with his fiancée, his elderly parents who are unemployed and minor children and if the application succeeds, they will be left destitute.

“Henderson alleges that when he first occupied the property it was in such a bad state that, out of necessity, he had to repair it at great cost. I0mportantly, Henderson does not deny the amounts reflecting as owed by him for rent and municipal account. Nevertheless he retained the monthly rental in order to cover his loss when the applicants failed to pay him,” Pakati states in her ruling.

She added that Henderson did not take the court into his confidence when stating that his father, Ross Kirby Henderson, was elderly and unemployed, “yet in his father’s confirmatory affidavit his father states clearly that he is the provincial chairperson of the Northern Cape Civic Organisation and head of the legal department of the same organisation”.

“In his opposing affidavit Mr Henderson states that he sees no need why the immovable property has to be leased to a new tenant whereas he is a willing payer who is waiting for the agent to furnish him with a reconciled amount owed to him.”

Pakati adds, however, that “even if his version is correct that he financially attended to necessary repairs, the amount that he claims for such repairs is far less than the amount he owes for rent.

“Importantly, the second applicant is 84 years old and requires assistance provided by a nursing home facility. If she is unable to afford her accommodation she would be vulnerable to imminent harm and danger. In my view there is the likely hardship to her than there is to Mr Henderson if the eviction order is not granted. The applicants have no other remedy available as they presently suffer financial hardship.”

She added that Henderson had been given “more than enough time to get alternative accommodation from August 31 2017 when the agreement terminated and again on June 29 2018 when he was given a further 60 days to vacate the property on August 31 2018”.

“It is so that if he paid R10 000 rent per month for his accommodation, he is in a position to do the same somewhere else. He and his family would not be destitute as he wants the court to believe.”

Judge Pakati ordered Henderson and all persons occupying the property under him to vacate the premises on or before November 20 2018, failing which she authorised the sheriff to give effect to the order and if necessary, to obtain the assistance of the SAPS.

She further ordered Henderson to pay the costs of the application.