Tenants beware: the homeowner can sell his property even if it happens to be leased out to a tenant. However, this is good news for those that own a sectional title whom are no longer able to pay off their mortgage, bond or levies.
Levies are paid by the owners of the sectional titles belonging to a scheme. Sometimes an owner is unable to pay the levies and/or pay off his/her mortgage and will then be required to sell. However, what if the sectional title is currently being rented to a tenant? There is nothing that legally prevents the owner from selling their property to another party in such an event.
In this case the new owner is made aware that there are tenants living on their property, and that the tenants have the right to stay on the property until the time that their lease agreement is up. Tenants must ensure that they find out from the new owner whether or not the owner will extend the lease or offer a new lease agreement. It is important that tenants make plans to find alternative accommodation in case the owner intends to move in himself, or if they feel they will be uncomfortable with the new agreement.
The buying of the house by the new owner doesn’t release tenants from their responsibilities either. Any changes to the lease will need to be made by the tenants and the new owners before the sale is made. Tenants are expected to continue paying the lease as normal until their contract period expires, otherwise penalties will be issued. There are no requirements that need to be fulfilled by the old owners after the point of sale.
If you’re an existing home owner or owner to a sectional title, if you’re a tenant, or if you are a head of body corporate of a sectional title, then make sure you acquire the services of a skilled and experienced debt collection and sectional title attorney.