Nightmare for new owner as tenants refuse to move

2014-12-19 00:00

A STUDENT’S delight at owning her first property soon turned to dismay when she realised it was occupied by tenants who refused to pay their rental or move out.

This is according to court papers filed by Amy Vernon of Pietermaritzburg, who has instituted high court proceedings to evict the “unlawful occupiers” of her property — Unit 1, Hampstead Park, 13 New Scotland Road.

Vernon says in an affidavit that she is not aware of the identities of the illegal occupants but as far as she knows, they are students who are continuing to pay rental to the previous owner.

According to the court papers, ­various attempts by Vernon and her father, Garth, to cut off electricity being supplied to the property by Msunduzi Municipality have failed.

Although the municipality was said to have appointed contractors to disconnect the illegal connections on each occasion, meters were allegedly reinstalled and the electricity reconnected a day later.

The occupants were notified of the eviction proceedings against them in terms of an earlier court order.

The case has now been postponed to February 11 next year.

Vernon says in her affidavit that she bought the property at a sale in execution on October 11, 2013.

It has been put on auction subsequent to a judgment of the high court in a case of Standard Bank versus M. P. Lekgathe and V.M. Zondi.

Vernon’s bid of R406 000 was accepted. The property has since been registered in her name.

“… I found the property to be occupied by a number of unknown people,” she said.

Vernon said the occupants claimed to have lease agreements with the previous owner.

Since then, and despite various lawyers letters delivered to them explaining that she is the new owner, and also terminating their lease agreements, they have failed to vacate the property and she has received no rental.

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