‘More than R20 000 to claim my own house back’ La Lucia homeowner

The home is situated on Braemar Avenue in La Lucia.
The home is situated on Braemar Avenue in La Lucia.

A LA Lucia homeowner has claimed back his house after what he termed ‘land invasion’ by two unknown men. Selvan Govender has been locked out of his own home by men for the past three weeks who have allegedly claimed they own it. The home on Braemar Avenue is worth R3-million.

Govender suspects the men living at the property, may have a fraudulent title deed. The 51-year-old has opened a case of house break-in and trespassing at the Durban North SAPS.

On Saturday, Govender had to pay for a towing company to remove a BMW X5 believed to belong to the men. He also changed the locks on all the doors.

“This has cost me in excess of R30 000 to claim my own house back. We towed the vehicle to the curb of Braemar Avenue which was collected late on Saturday night. Metro Police said they couldn’t intervene because it was private property. I have an electricity bill of more than R3 000 which I haven’t used.

“When we finally got back into the house we discovered they did some plumbing work and even installated electricity cables. They also did a few minor alterations. I’m not sure if the intention was to re-sell the house,” he said.

Govender said he was relieved to have his house back. “I’m relieved but I’m worried about the guys coming back. I’ve got the builder working at the home but the fear is they would return,” he said.

Ward councillor, Heinz de Boer, said while the homeowner could not be blamed for the ‘land invasion’ it was an important lesson for other residents in the area.

“No property should ever be left unattended, or without tenants. We have seen several incidents where vagrants or others simply move in and use vacant properties. It took almost nine years to have an invaded property near La Lucia Mall sorted out some years ago. Even worse are plots of land where squatters quickly move in,” he said.

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Shiraz Habbib

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