Dealing With Squatters

Definition of a Squatter:

A squatter is a person who is occupying a property without any permission to occupy such property from the Owner, the Tenant or the Licensee.

Eviction of Squatters:

Squatters do not have a legal right to occupy the property and may therefore be evicted in terms of the Civil Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2001. Landlords must first approach the courts for an Interim Possession Order (IPO) against the squatters. Once the IPO has been obtained, the squatters must vacate the property within 24 hours. Failure to comply with the IPO is a criminal offence that can result in either imprisonment and/or a fine.

Requirements for an Interim Possession Order:

There are the following essential prerequisites before an IPO can be obtained:

  1. The claim must be made within 28 days of first becoming aware of the squatters occupying the property;
  2. The squatters must not have previously been Tenants or Licensees of the property; and
  3. The property must be used for residential purposes.

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