Housing Rights (PIE)

Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE) (1998)


In sum, PIE provides procedures for eviction of unlawful occupants and prohibits unlawful evictions. The main aim of the Act is to protect both occupiers and landowners. The owner or landlord must follow the provisions of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act (PIE) (except in areas where ESTA operates) if they want to evict a tenant.

-An unlawful occupier of the land is defined as a person who occupies land without the express or tacit permission of the owner or the person in charge.

-Tacit permission is when the owner is aware of the occupant being on the land or premises but does nothing to stop this.


Who is covered?

  • Anyone who is an unlawful occupier, which includes tenants who fail to pay their rentals and bonds, is covered by PIE.  It excludes anyone who qualifies as an ‘occupier’ in terms of the Extension of Security of Tenure Act

When is an eviction lawful?

  • For an eviction to happen lawfully, certain procedures must be followed. If any one of them is left out, the eviction is unlawful. So, if an owner wants to have an unlawful occupier evicted, they must do the following:
    • give the occupier notice of his/her intention of going to court to get an eviction order.
    • apply to the court to have a written notice served on the occupier stating the owner’s intention to evict the occupier.
    • The court must serve the notice at least 14 days before the court hearing. The notice must also be served on the municipality that has jurisdiction in the area.


The notice must contain the following:

  • a statement that says proceedings are being instituted in the court in terms of PIE
  • the date and time of the court hearing
  • the grounds for the proposed eviction
  • that the occupier is entitled to appear before the court and defend the case
  • that the occupier can apply for legal aid
  • The unlawful occupier can go to the court hearing on the day it is set down and defend themselves if they believe the eviction is unfair.
  • A person who wants to defend the court action should approach the Justice Centre at the Magistrate’s court for assistance. An occupier threatened with eviction can apply for legal aid assistance and representation.


The court will only give an eviction order if it is proved that:

  • the person who is applying to evict you, is in fact the owner of the land
  • you are an unlawful occupier
  • the owner has reasonable grounds to ask for your eviction
  • the local authority or any other owner of land in the area can make alternative land available for you

Urgent evictions
The Act also allows for urgent eviction proceedings. This will be granted if the owner can show that:

  • there is real danger of substantial injury or damage to any person or property
  • there is no other way to solve this situation
  • the owner is going to suffer more if the occupier stays on the land, than the occupier will suffer if he or she gets evicted In such a case, the owner can go to court and get a final order for the eviction.

If the court grants an eviction order:

  • The eviction order will state a date by when you have to leave the land, and also the date on which the eviction will take place if you do not vacate the land.
  • The court order may also make an order for your buildings to be demolished.

Who can remove you?

  • Only the sheriff of the court can carry out an eviction.


13 responses to “Housing Rights (PIE)

  1. , I am a single parent of 3 kids and have been having a constant issue with racism in the complex where I have been residing for the last year, I have been sending numerous emails regarding my concerns to the body corporate aswell as the owner and the rental agents.

    No response has been received from either of them regarding my complaints.
    They agent came to my place lastnight but I was not home due to my daughter being in hospital, he agent then called me and informed me that I should be moved out by 6pm on Friday the 03rd June or they will be forcefully removing me and my kids on Saturday. He is threatening to disconnect my electricity.

    I have no alternate place to go to and would like to know what options I may have if any?

    (I have attached some of the concerns and correspondences)

    Please try to assist me as I cannot afford to move out on such short notice and my 3year old daughter is currently in hospital.

    • Hello Trish,

      Thank you for your comment. PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and if you fit within this category, we may be able to assist you.

      In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

    • Hello Saul,

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants. We may be able to assist you, but in order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  2. Good day. My name is Hannelie Steyn. I have a qwestion to ask. My husband is been bord from work of medical stuff. Now some one at the work was a sleep whit the paper work. Now this month and last month we have not getting eny money. From the end of August we will recive the salary. Now we are behand with the flat payment. We have told the owner what is going on. Now he wants to put off our power. My husband is medical bord. He is gering ‘n bag on the out side for his derm to work. We must pay about R6000 ‘n month for the rent. There is onther lady that say’s i must contack you people and then you will help us. We have pay the first payment. It is just this month that we are not paying. Can he put of the power so that my hasbund can not usid warm water. Can you pleace help us whit this story. I have medical records why we went behand with the rent. We have a good resing for it. My number is 0748248777. Pleace we need help.

    • Hello Hannaelie,

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants. If you would like assistance and fit into this category, we may be able to assist you. In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  3. Sir/madam
    My girlfriend mother is over 60yrs and worked at the plot for more than 10 years and the owner sold the plot and he only gave her 7 days to vacate the accommodation he provided without giving her ,her money and alternate accommodation.They don’t know where to go?The plot in question is 35 Northdene ,vanderbijlpark and they have to vacate before 1st August 2016 and given verbal notice on Saturday 23 July 2016.

    • Hello Isaac,

      Are you located in Cape Town?

      PASSOP (People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty) is a community-based, non-profit human rights organisation
      devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants in South Africa. If you fit into this category and would like further assistance, please stop by our office so that our paralegal advisors can further understand your situation and assist you.

      We are located at:

      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  4. Hi please assist I was illegally evicted from my house last year without any notices I tried to get help from sap was told I must ask the community to assist I hv 3 kids en been staying in my property for more than 10 years I am really struggling en lawyers want no less than 40000 to assist money I do noty have
    Please assist any assistance will be greatly appreciated
    Lbfkagiso.manana@hotmail.com

    • Hello Lindi,

      PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants. If you would like assistance, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please bring proper papers and identification.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      16 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      Kind Regards,
      PASSOP

  5. Good day. Ive been staying at the flat on a property for an entire 8 months. The owner wants us to bath at certain times and switch the geyser off every night.she also said that we over use water but I went to the municipality. Bear on mind ive never seen a bill of the water she claims we use. When I asked today at the municipality there was never a water fine given to the property. She got her bf to scream at my husband that he will evict us because of water. Next thing a hand written letter stating we should evict the property month end due to discussion.

    • Hello Mrs borlase,

      Thank you for your comment!

      Are you located in Cape Town?

      I am very sorry for your current situation and hope that we can assist in any way. PASSOP is devoted to protecting and fighting for the rights of asylum-seekers, refugees and immigrants and if you feel as if you fit into this category, we may be able to help you. In order to understand your situation better, it would be best if you stop by our office in Cape Town so that you may speak with one of our paralegal advisors about your current situation. Please remember to bring all proper identification and documents with you at all times.

      We are located at:
      Tulbagh Centre Building (4th floor, room 413-414)
      3 Hans Strijdom Avenue Lane, Cape Town 8001

      Office phone number: 0214182838

      We look forward to hearing from you!

      Kind Regards,
      The PASSOP team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *