ConCourt hears Johannesburg lease case

2011-11-03 13:37

Johannesburg - Cancelling the rental leases of people in a privately-owned building in Johannesburg that is destined for rejuvenation, violated the tenants’ rights, the Constitutional Court heard on Thursday.

"These tenants have been living there between four, eight and 17 years," said the tenants' lawyer Daniel Berger SC.

"They have accrued a right of access to adequate housing and by cancelling that right, that right is impaired."

At least seven people living in the building Lowliebenhof, Braamfontein, would be homeless if they had to move out, he said.

The court was hearing argument on behalf of Ntombizodwa Maphango and 14 others who are contesting the cancellation of their leases on the grounds of their right to adequate housing.

The building's owner, Aengus Lifestyle Properties, specialise in buying old Johannesburg buildings and refurbishing the apartments.

Their portfolio includes Tribeca and Fashion Lofts in the inner city.

The judges wanted to know to what extent social costs should impact on regenerative housing projects. They wanted to know to what extent a landlord was responsible for social costs, and whether it was wrong to be motivated by profit when terminating a lease for the purposes of increasing the rental.

They would also have to decide whether Constitutional rights supersede contractual rights.

Before the purchase of the building, tenants received a government subsidy but this was terminated several years ago.

In papers submitted by Aengus, the tenants were given three months notice of lease cancellation and were offered cheaper alternatives in their property portfolio.

The tenants said the other units were not in a good condition and that they did not want to move out of Braamfontein.

"[We need to] balance the interests of landlords and the interests of tenants," said Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke."


Read more on:    johannesburg  |  housing

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:


You may find yourself putting in that extra effort on looking good and making an impression. more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.