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Johannesburg

Lethetsa Smith Incorporated t/a Mervyn Joel Smith Attorneys have branches in Johannesburg, Kimberly and Bloemfontein.

Our Johannesburg branch is a general litigation practice and deals with a broad spectrum of civil matters, including, general litigation, debt collection, divorces, commercial matters, estates and conveyancing.

The Johannesburg branch also specializes in property related matters, including rental debt collection, rental disputes, evictions, body corporate matters and municipal law matters, specifically against the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality (“COJ”). 

Our firm represents a large number of the major property stakeholders within the City of Johannesburg who are involved in the regeneration of the inner city and the provision of affordable housing to those residing in the city. Furthermore, many of our clients are involved in social programs, including the improvement of parks and playgrounds and the provision of schools for learners in the inner city.

Our renowned and well-established rental collections and evictions department assist inter alia a number of major property owners and managing agents to collect and recover rentals from their tenants and/or to evict defaulting tenants/unlawful occupiers from properties. We have also represented a number of Body Corporates and their managing agents in recovering arrears levies from defaulting property owners.

Our rental collections and evictions department has extensive experience and knowledge in dealing with evictions against tenants and unlawful occupiers. We have successfully ejected unlawful occupiers/hijackers from many of the Johannesburg inner-city buildings owned by our clients.

Our rental collections and evictions department works swiftly and efficiently to ensure that the relevant court orders sought are obtained as soon as reasonably possible, within the constraints of the Rules of Court, and that these orders are executed effectively.

Where there are sufficient grounds for urgency, we will launch eviction proceedings out of the urgent Court of the relevant High Court for immediate relief.

Our rental collections and eviction processes are highly efficient. We have a high rate of success in recovering arrear rental on behalf of our clients as well as evicting defaulting tenants/unlawful occupiers.

Our rental collections and evictions department consists of 2 admitted attorneys, a property specialist para-legal and two secretaries. Our specialist para-legal, Mrs. van der Grijp, has been dealing with property disputes, rental collections and evictions for the past 21 years.

In addition to the aforementioned, our firm has successfully evicted and assisted in the drafting of criminal complaints against hijackers of several of the Johannesburg inner-city buildings owned by our clients.

With regards to our COJ department, we assist many COJ consumers including various large portfolio property owners, managing agents and Body Corporates in lodging and resolving municipal disputes/queries.

Over the last 5 years we have established a professional working relationship with senior COJ officials. These relationships are not only beneficial to our clients in the amicable resolution of their account queries, but also in the speedy re-connection of municipal services which are erroneously and/or unlawfully disconnected by the COJ and/or in the prevention of threatened disconnection of services. 

Where our attorneys are unable to facilitate and negotiate a timely and/or mutually suitable resolution to account queries, applications are launched against the COJ to compel compliance with their own By-Laws and the rectification of our clients’ municipal accounts.

In the unlikely event of the COJ failing and/or refusing to reconnect disconnected services within a reasonable time, we will launch urgent spoliation applications against the COJ, the costs of which are sought against the COJ.

Our COJ department attorneys pride themselves in their ability to analyze and decipher municipal invoices and statements which not only expedites the resolution of long-standing queries, but also saves clients in wasteful legal expenditure in launching unnecessary and/or frivolous applications against the COJ.

We would be pleased if your company would consider appointing our firm to deal with your legal rental collections, eviction, municipal disputes or any other legal matters in our field of expertise. We are confident that our involvement in assisting your company would add substantial value to your company.