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Why full rent is due if your tenant leaves his stuff in your unit after early cancellation

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Q

If a tenant gave notice to terminate a lease early, and at the end of the termination period only vacated half the property (i.e. left all clothes and a number of other personal belongings in the apartment), surely the notice is then assumed to be null and void and full rent should be paid in lieu of same.

They left the key at security, have now returned from holiday and say they would like to come and pack up their remaining belongings?

A

Quite simply, the tenant has not acted in accordance with the terms of the notice to vacate the property, and has therefore not restored the landlord’s possession.

In the circumstances, I am of the view that although the notice to vacate remains valid, and the lease has effectively been terminated, the tenant remains liable to pay the current month’s rental in full.

The tenant’s conduct in this instance amounts to holding over of the property, and the landlord is entitled to be compensated as a result thereof.


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Who is Marlon Shevelew?

Marlon Shevelew, director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates.

Marlon Shevelew, director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates.

Marlon Shevelew is the director of Marlon Shevelew and Associates Inc, a  law firm specialising in rental property, sectional title, contractual, consumer and company law.

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1 COMMENT
  • Jo 10th August 2017

    How long must I keep an evicted tennants possessions that they left behind in my garden, saying they’d return within the week to collect. After 5 months am I still expected to keep and look after their stuff.
    Western Cape.

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