Eviction: When a Landlord May Cancel a Lease

27 May 2019

Eviction law is for the protection of all parties' interests, explains attorney Simon Dippenaar. Dippenaar explained when a landlord has the right to cancel a lease.

Breach of lease If a tenant fails to pay rent, and there is reason to suspect that the tenant may not pay future rent, the landlord may cancel the lease. However, it is not as simple as that, cautions Dippenaar. Whether or not the court grants the cancellation depends on the wording of the lease. For cancellation to be justified, the failure to pay must represent a major breach of the lease.

Consumer Protection Act Bear in mind that the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) requires "residential landlords" to give tenants 20 business days' notice of the need to vacate a property. According to the CPA, if a tenant is in material breach of the lease, a landlord can't cancel the lease without giving 20 business days' notice and can't cancel the lease if the breach is rectified within those 20 days.

Month-to-month or open-ended leases The landlord must give the tenant "reasonable" notice of termination of the lease. A calendar month notice would satisfy the 20 business days required by the CPA and would be considered reasonable.

Public housing Different rules apply when the lease is for public housing. Recent case law established that to terminate a public housing lease agreement on just one month's notice would be oppressive and unconstitutional. Therefore, a tenant of public housing should be afforded the chance to rectify a breach prior to lease cancellation.

Implied leases If a lease expires and the tenant continues to pay rent, and the landlord continues to accept it, they have effectively created a new, implied lease. By law, the payment and acceptance of rent after the official end of the lease implies that a new lease has been agreed.

Click here to read the full article. https://www.fin24.com/Money/Property/eviction-when-a-landlord-may-cancel-a-lease-20190203

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