Landlord was fair

Adams and May Attorney’s Inc acting on behalf of Noor Parker

On the Tuesday October 24, there was an attempted eviction of Ms Vieira and her family from a unit in Roodebloem Road (“No eviction… for now” Tatler, October 26).

However, as a result of the support from the Reclaim the City group, Ms Vieira successfully resisted the eviction. The coverage of this story has focused mainly on Ms Vieira and her circumstances, neglecting to verify and recognise Noor Parker’s side of the story.

Due to this negligence, the account published led to Mr Parker being characterised as a capitalist slumlord and resulted in his good name being slandered over all platforms of social media.

Little do people know that Mr Parker is not rich but instead an ordinary citizen working a 9 to 5 job, seven days a week, in an attempt to make ends meet. For the past year, Mr Parker has been working solely to settle the escalating costs relating to the property, one of which is a municipal bill of R160000. In the duration of the ownership of the unit, Mr Parker has yet to yield the benefits of this proposed “asset” as a result of non-paying tenants, which led to deterioration of the building to its present state.

The constant publicising of the issue in the media has been devastating for Mr Parker and his family. It has not only placed his life on hold but has resulted in the accumulation of debt because of the lack of payment by the unlawful tenant.

“Have a heart Mr Parker”, said one of the many picket boards fixed to the building on the day of the attempted eviction. It is acknowledged by many people that Mr Parker has been more than compassionate in dealing with Mrs Vieira. In fact, he has been more than reasonable and has obliged her on numerous occasions granting her extension upon extension to find alternative accommodation.

Ms Vieira had ample time and notification to vacate the property, as she first received notice in February 2016. Since then, Ms Vieira has delayed moving and made empty promises on several occasions to vacate the property in order to remain in occupation.

Furthermore, it should be noted that Ms Vieira is insisting on finding alternative accommodation in the Woodstock area and is not amenable to move to other areas despite the offers of accommodation in Blikkiesdorp and Wolverivier.

It should be noted that since September 2016, Ms Vieira has failed to make any payments in respect of rental owed by her. In addition, Mr Parker also wrote off R36300 previously owed by Ms Vieira as arrears rental during the course of her stay.

What is unbeknown to the community is that for more than a year, the tenant has yet again defaulted in paying her rental and is once again indebted to Mr Parker for amount of R30000. Thus, the outstanding rental due by Ms Vieira from September 2015 to October 2017 totals an amount of R52560. Furthermore, it should be noted that Mr Parker has only once in the 26-year period of Mr Vieira’s occupation increased the rental from R2000 to R2500 in 2007, and that she has been paying the said amount with no increase to date despite her defaulting in the past.

This indeed shows not only the compassion of Mr Parker but his empathy towards Ms Vieira. However, Mr Parker was forced to cancel the existing month-to-month lease in order to effect repairs to the building after the building started falling into disrepair as a result of lack of income and increasing municipal costs.

Given notice in February 2016 and given three months to vacate, Ms Vieira persisted to occupy the building. It was then and there that Mr Parker elected to exercise his rights and instructed legal representation to institute legal proceedings to have her vacate the property. As soon as legal proceedings were initiated in September 2016, Ms Vieira immediately stopped paying the rental and has paid nothing to date.

Proceedings were instituted in February 2016 and after many postponements in favour of the tenant, the matter was finally finalised in July 2017, after Ms Vieira obtained legal representation and agreed to sign a settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement was handed to the magistrate and was made an order of court in July 2017. In terms of the said agreement, Ms Vieira was allotted an additional three months up and until October 11, to obtain alternative accommodation and vacate the property. On October 11, Ms Vieira contacted Mr Parker for additional time until October 23, as she would only be able to get accommodation on this date.

Reluctantly, being the compassionate person he is, Mr Parker agreed. On October 23, Ms Vieira called Mr Parker as well as his attorneys continuously pleading once again for more time. It was at this point that Mr Parker, instructed his attorneys to proceed with the eviction.

On October 24, the sheriff was instructed to execute in terms of the order of court. Ms Vieira was well aware that her failure to vacate by the 23rd would result in her being evicted as she was forewarned personally by the sheriff a few days before.

Having no other alternative and no legal standing, Ms Vieira turned to an activist group, Reclaim the City, to support her in her cause.

When the sheriff arrived at the property on October 24, people affiliated with this group trespassed on the property, hung banners defaming Mr Parker and were chanting and protesting against the eviction of Ms Vieira and her family.

Reclaim the City obstructed the sheriff from executing in terms of the order, acting in contempt of court. With the protests came a vandalisation to the building, a door broken open with a crowbar from one of the units upstairs and finally objects being thrown from the balcony of that unit.

Being aware that the sheriff would execute on October 24, Reclaim the City called upon the press to take heed and used the humanitarian approach in seeking sympathy for the unlawful occupant.

The fact that Ms Vieira was not evicted on October 24, does not mean she was given any extension of time. Mr Parker has waited for more than a year to attend to repairs. He has lost rental income, become indebted for rates and water and had to pay for attorneys all to reclaim what is rightfully his as a property owner.

It is on this basis that Mr Parker was left with no option but to exercise his legal rights and proceed with the eviction of Ms Vieira in terms of the court order which was granted in his favour.