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No permit available for those looking to move house during lockdown

There is no such thing as a permit to move house during the lockdown and authorities have urged tenants and homeowners to stay put. James Richardson 29 April 2020

TPN Credit Bureau have warned South Africans that there is no such thing as a permit to move house. Under the terms of the National Disaster Management Act, moving house is strictly prohibited, and TPN says it is unclear exactly when the government would lift these restrictions.

There is no such thing as a permit to move house

Fake news circulating on social media has claimed that it is possible to obtain a permit to move house from one’s local police station. TPN has warned that a document widely circulated on social media is nothing more than an affidavit and does not grant the bearer any sort of exemption from lockdown regulations.

“Desperate to move, some tenants have latched on to an idea of a police-issued ‘permit’ to move house,” an update on the lockdown issued by TPN reads.

TPN reiterated that the only kind of travel or lockdown exemption permits police could currently issue are permits for travel for funerals between provinces. The notion of a permit to move house seems to have originated on social media and is giving authorities unnecessary headaches.

“Actually, this ‘permit’ is nothing more than an Affidavit signed by the tenant at their local police station on a SAPS Sworn Statement Form.”

“The contents of the Affidavit confirm the address of the new lease and that the tenant gives themselves ‘permission’ to move on 1 May 2020.”

“In terms of the Disaster Management Act and the current regulations, the police may only issue permits to travel between provinces for the attendance of funerals.”

“TPN has confirmed with a high-level Advocate at the National Prosecuting Authority that ‘SAPS cannot issue such permits and the current regulations do not permit this.'”

Can you move house during lockdown?

TPN is a credit bureau who specialise in vetting tenants in the property rental industry. They have urged all tenants not to contemplate moving house until the government has given the all-clear. There has been no indication at which stage of phased lockdown schedule moving house will be allowed.

“We would highly encourage all tenants to not attempt to move with these self-made permits as it could potentially lead to arrest or fines.

“Once the final regulations have been published, there will hopefully be clarity at which level tenants will be allowed to move – we will update you as soon as it is received.

“Until then, we strongly advise tenants not to move.” 

Moratorium on evictions

Justice Minister Rodney Lamola announced a moratorium on all evictions at the outset of the national lockdown.

“All evictions and executions of attachment orders, both movable and immovable, including the removal of movable assets and sales in executions is suspended with immediate effect for the duration of the lockdown.”

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