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Q: I am an 80-year-old pensioner and divided my home into two units to earn some extra income.

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We installed pre-paid electricity meters he estate agent found us suitable tenants – or so we thought. The tenants paid their first two months’ rent on time and then started paying 17 to 18 days late.

They did not pay their last four months’ rent, nor for water for seven months. After not buying electricity tokens from me for a few months I investigated and found they had tampered with the meter, which meant it was not recording the unit’s electricity usage.

Confronting the tenants lead to vulgar language and threats against me. I reported the case to the police and was advised to apply for a legal attachment through the magistrate’s court. I have been sent from pillar to post and, ultimately, returned home without an attachment order. How can I get one ?

A: Before a creditor, can get a warrant of attachment issued against a debtor, you need a judgment against which you are executing the warrant. To get a judgment, a summons first needs to be issued and served on the debtor.

You should instruct an attorney to institute action by way of a summons. You can do so personally but you will not be familiar with the process that needs to be followed and may not get it right. – Maria Davey, partner at Meumann White Attorneys

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