The state of South Carolina provides the Landlord Tenant Act to provide remedies for property owners and renters involved in a rental dispute. The law helps protect tenants from unlawful evictions and gives property owners a process for removing tenants who fail to pay rent, damage the property or violate the lease agreement.
Reasons for Eviction
Landlords may begin the eviction process in South Carolina if tenants do not pay rent, violate the lease agreement or fail to maintain the property. Property owners may also take possession of the property when a tenant abandons the residence or when the lease agreement ends. The landlord must follow the eviction process to remove tenants from a property. South Carolina does not allow landlords to use self-help methods, such as locking the tenant from the residence or turning off utilities.
Notice to Vacate
The eviction process begins in South Carolina with a notice to vacate the property. Landlords may not provide the tenant with notice if the lease agreement states that no notice must be given. When tenants fail to pay rent, the landlord must provide a five-day notice before the eviction process begins. Tenants can pay the back rent within the five days to stop the eviction. A landlord in South Carolina is only required to give tenants a five-day notice once in a 12-month period.
When tenants fail to maintain the rental property and endangers safety and health, the landlord must provide the tenant with 14 days to correct the problem. The landlord can begin the eviction process when tenants fail to comply with the notice.
An abandonment of the property occurs when the tenant is not present in the residence for 15 days after the rent payment is due and the tenant fails to pay.
At the end of a lease agreement without any provision for notice, the landlord may serve notice to the tenant according to the rental period. For example, landlords provide a seven-day notice to tenants who pay weekly and a 30-day notice for tenants who pay monthly.
The landlord may begin an action with the court in South Carolina when tenants fail to vacate the property within the terms of the notice. Tenants have an opportunity to raise a defense in the eviction proceeding.
Warrant of Ejectment
When the court finds in favor of the landlord, a warrant of ejectment is issued to return possession of the property to the property owner. A deputy, sheriff or constable in South Carolina must serve the warrant of ejectment.
Stays of Execution
Tenants may file an appeal with the court to avoid eviction. The court may grant a tenant a stay of execution and arrange payment for the past due rent.
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