Did you enter into a new lease agreement or transfer property before lockdown? Good news: movement of persons and goods allowed from 7 May 2020 to 7 June 2020

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DID YOU ENTER INTO A NEW LEASE AGREEMENT OR TRANSFER PROPERTY BEFORE LOCKDOWN? GOOD NEWS: MOVEMENT OF PERSONS AND GOODS ALLOWED FROM 7 MAY 2020 TO 7 JUNE 2020

In terms of the Disaster Management Act, 57 of 2002 Regulations gazetted on 7 May 2020, persons who entered into leases before or during lockdown, or whose property transfer occurred before the lockdown period, may move within the Republic on once-off basis to his or her new place of residence. This includes the transportation of goods within the Republic limited to household furniture and effects.

It is important to note that this is not a blanket concession window for landlords to move in new tenants, there are strict circumstances which apply: the lease must have been concluded before or during the lockdown period, being the period between 23h59 on 26 March 2020 until 23H59 on 30 April 2020. In other words, if you ‘entered into’ a lease after 23H59 on 30 April 2020, it will not be permissible to move to your new place of residence. Furthermore, the new Regulations do not make provision for viewings and inspections of properties, this presents a practical problem for landlords. It must be noted further that it is possible to conclude an oral and/or tacit lease and later record this agreement into writing, what matters is when the lease was ‘entered into’.

 

A person who needs to travel to his or her new place of residence and transport goods, is permitted to do so only between 7 May 2020 to 7 June 2020, subject to compliance with the following:

  1. Obtain a permit to travel across provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries from the station commander of a police station or a person designated by him or her. The permit must correspond to Form 1 of the Directions;

 

  1. Indicate the persons who are part of the household who will be required to move and;

 

  1. Have in his or her possession the following:

 

  • Relevant lease agreement indicating the date of expiry of the old lease and the date of commencement of the new lease (by implication, the lease agreement must at least be recorded in writing for the purposes of obtaining the permit), or
  • Transfer documents attesting to the change in place of residence or change of ownership of property.

 

It must also be stressed that the Regulations do not make it clear whether a permit is required if the person is moving within a metropolitan or district area. The Regulations state that a permit must be obtained to ‘travel across provincial, metropolitan or district boundaries.’ Furthermore, the permit itself is titled ‘permit to travel to another province, metropolitan area or district’.

Persons who makes use of public or private transport for the relocation must adhere to the relevant Directions issued by the Minister of Transport and ensure measures of social distancing and sanitisation are strictly applied.

Should you require any legal assistance regarding your relocation, do not hesitate to contact Marie-Lou Gillespie at mlgillespie@dacct.co.za or Carmelita Dos Ramos at cdosramos@dacct.co.za.

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