Company seeks eviction of 20 tenants

10 July 2019 | Justice

There is an interesting matter before High Court Judge Boas Usiku where Endobo Properties is applying for an order to evict 20 tenants from a property at Tsumeb.

In September last year, Endobo filed its particulars, attaching a customer age analysis dated 13 June 2018. The total outstanding rent for the 20 tenants amounted to N$248 815 with N$189 795 of that outstanding for 120 days or more, the bulk of it dating back to March 2016 through to February 2018.

According to the document, the biggest defaulter is the fourth defendant, Gustav Gariseb, trading as Longa Engineering, with N$46 205, with N$39 880 owed between March 2016 and January 2018.

The other defendants, from one to 20 save for the fourth, are Petrus Nambundu, Selma Alpheus, Martin Martino, Masonde Viwangu, Basilium Kaguwo, Johannes Ndyamba, Christolene Kambamba, Selonika Upingasana, Bernhard Hikumua, Fillip Louis, Fillipine Gomusas, Immanuel Shilonda, Efat Pejamatjike, Lucia Sabatha, Norman Filiyati, Helarius Goseb, Andreas Thimbunga, Martino Mbimbi and Sara Haseb. Endobo told the court that it is the owner of the property at 103 President's Avenue, listing the transfer deed number, adding that “the aforementioned Endobo Properties (Pty) Limited was converted to a close corporation in 2007 and the transfer deed was endorsed accordingly”.

Attaching the rental contract, Endobo said that according to the terms of the document, it could terminate the lease if rent was not paid when due, amongst others.

“Should the lease be terminated, the lessee undertakes to vacate the premises on or before the termination date” and if not, Endobo has the right to enter the premises and remove the lessee's property, placing it in storage.

Endobo told the court that 20 defendants were all in breach of their rental obligations, most starting from February 2016, according to the age analysis. Endobo asked the court to cancel all the relevant lease agreements and to evict the 20 defendants from the property. It also asked for costs. In their plea, the 20 defendants, represented by Sylsken Makondo, say that the property, at the time of transfer to Endobo, was not owned by Ongopolo Mining and thus, there was no legal cause for the transfer to be effected.

In the alternative, they say the 1977 Rents Ordinance allows for a notice period of one year for a business and three months for a residence “when a lessor gives notice to a lessee to vacate”.

Interestingly, they include in their plea, a section from the ordinance which states that “the period of notice as required by this section shall not be applicable where the lessee of business premises has done material damage to such premises, or has indulged in conduct which constitutes a nuisance to the residents or occupants of adjoining or neighbouring premises, or is in arrears with the payment of rent of the said premises.”

They add also that they did not consent to a shorter notice period as provided for by the ordinance.

Alternatively, the defendants say that Endobo was not the lawful owner when the lease agreements were signed and executed and thus, they are entitled to resist eviction. They asked for the claim to be dismissed with costs.

The matter is set to go to trial. Francois Erasmus appears for Endobo.