Saturday, 18 December 2021

LANDLORDS TOLD : NO ARBITRARY EVICTIONS

LANDLORDS should stop the arbitrary eviction of their tenants as such behaviour is in violation of the country’s laws, a magistrate has said.

Bulawayo Western Commonage resident magistrate Mr Shepard Munjanja said this before granting applicant, Mr Eloff Ncube a protection order against his landlord, Mr Mduduzi Moyo of 8824 Pumula East when they appeared before him last week.

Mr Mjanja ordered Mr Moyo to allow his tenant to rundown his three-month’ notice while granting the latter a protection order against harassment.

He also advised Mr Moyo to seek a court order before attempting to throw out his tenant ahead of the given three months notice.

The magistrate’s warning comes at a time when tenants across the country have been battling to secure their rights against landlords who evict them without due notice or a court order.

According to Zimbabwean law and in terms of Section 74 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe no person may be evicted from their home, or have their home demolished, without an order of court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.

Mr Ncube dragged his landlord before the courts alleging that he was being harassed into leaving his lodgings ahead of the expiry of the three months’ notice that he had been verbally given by Mr Moyo.

Mr Ncube further alleged that his landlord hired “bouncers” to intimidate him into leaving.

According to Mr Ncube, he and his landlord agreed that on or before 15 January next year, he should leave his lodgings but Mr Moyo later turned around and started demanding his immediate departure.

“My landlord asked me to leave his house and we verbally agreed on three months’ notice which was effective from 15 October to 15 January next year. But my landlord has now been harassing me to move before that date and even hired bouncers to force me to leave which is why I have come before the courts for reprieve,” Mr Ncube told the court.

Opposing the protection order, Mr Moyo said his tenant was not being honest about his notice period arguing that they had in fact agree on 29 November as the date by which Mr Ncube should have vacated his lodgings.

“Ncube came to me desperate for accommodation telling me that his belongings were no longer safe and he needed a place to stay. I gave him a place to stay and when I decided that it was time for him to leave, I gave him three months’ notice,” argued Mr Moyo.

“We had a verbal agreement on 29 August this year that he would be out by 29 November but he came to me and said he was having logistical difficulties and asked for a little more time which I granted him. But now he is still there and is saying we agreed that he should move out by 15 January which is not true.”

However, Mr Mjanja granted the protection order against Mr Moyo while also advising him to seek a court order should his tenant renege on leaving his house on or before 15 January.

“I grant the order in favour of the applicant and advise you to seek a court order should he fail to leave by January 15. Only through the courts can a tenant be evicted and I urge you and other landlords to bear this in mind,” Mr Mjanja said in passing judgment on the matter. Sunday News

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