Court allows eviction of Saldanha pig farm couple who failed to pay rent for 5 years
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Cape Town - A Saldanha couple, Josef and Henrietta Erasmus, who failed to pay rental and water charges on a pig farm they leased for more than five years, will be evicted if they don’t vacate the property by November 30.
Western Cape High Court judge Judge Derek Wille ruled that if they had not left by the end of November, the sheriff of the court would make sure they did.
The couple leased the property from Ralph Bock and Ignatius Viljoen – who as trustees of the CRL Family Trust own the property – in March 2016 with an option to purchase and had intended to continue an existing piggery business on the farm.
A payment structure which reflected the payments that the respondents were required to make was prepared and agreed. This included the sum of R600 000 as the purchase price for the piggery and the sum R400 000 as the deposit for the option to purchase.
It was also agreed that the owners would apply for the subdivision of the property and that any sale of the property would be subject to the successful sub-division of the property from the farm.
The rental on the property was R10 000 per month payable on or before the third day of every month. The couple were liable for the costs of electricity, water and gas used and this would be paid directly to the relevant service provider.
The lease also forbade them from undertaking any alterations or erecting any buildings, installations, irrigation systems, structures or build dams or roads without prior written consent from the owners.
Trouble began when in November 2018 the couple erected a structure on the farm on which they now live, despite not paying rental and water charges for more than five years.
Judge Wille said the residential occupation of the farm and the manner in which it occurred was the subject of the core dispute between the parties.
The couple meanwhile argued that the agreed purchase price for the property was exaggerated.
They said that the Land Bank informed them that the property was only worth between R300 000 to R400 000, but when asked to provide evidence of this claim, they refused.
Judge Wille ruled they had failed to put up any credible evidential material in support of their argument in this connection.
The couple admitted that they had not paid the agreed rental and agreed to enter into an acknowledgement of debt and said that an amount of R438 436,21 was due.
As a result, Judge Wille ordered the couple to pay R624 041 in 10 days to the owners. He however said that any further amounts due and payable, from March 1 this year to the date when the couple vacate the property, would be held over and stood over for later determination.