Immovable property has become a sought after asset in the debt recovery process. An applicant (the person who the money is owed to) may apply to the court for a Warrant of Execution (also called a Writ for short) after a judgment has been granted against the debtor to pay the amount owed. This warrant, if authorised by the court, would allow the applicant to attach the debtor’s assets. Execution is therefore used when the applicant wants to enforce the judgment against the debtor.

The case of Jaftha v Schoeman; Van Rooyen v Stolz looked at the constitutionality of permitting execution against immovable property. The court in this instance, held that should a Sheriff issue a nulla bona return after having attempted to attach the movable property, the applicant may approach the court and request a Warrant of Execution against the immovable property.

Companies are subjected to the same debt recovery process as an individual. Once a judgment has been obtained, the applicant can seek a declaratory order that an immovable property be considered executable.

The process of the sale in execution has not only become important for private persons, but also for businesses.