A Beginner's Guide to South Carolina’s Eviction Laws

Landlord Protection A Beginner's Guide to South Carolina’s Eviction Laws

Overview of Carolina Eviction Laws

The real estate sector is gaining momentum as the economy returns to normal. South Carolina's federal rent moratorium has expired, and landlords are again at it. From hiking rent, retaining security deposits, evading repairs to unlawful evictions. That's where  come in, to protect and empower you to fight against such vices.

However, fighting is easier said than done. With the landlords holding more cards than the tenants, it's easy to feel intimidated, making them more vulnerable to fight.

But all that stops now with DoNotPay!

Understanding South Carolina Eviction Laws

South Carolina eviction laws are outlined in the South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 27 under Property and Conveyances.

These laws offer guidance on how landlords and tenants should interact, protect the tenants from unlawful subjugation, and protect the landlord's property from abusive use by the tenants.

Additionally, these laws outline the landlords' and tenants' responsibilities and how to settle any disputes arising from non-compliance by the two parties.

Reasons Warranting Your Eviction in South Carolina

South Carolina eviction laws mandate that no landlord evict a tenant unless they have probable cause. This means your landlord cannot evict you from your rental unit unless they have a solid reason.

The common reasons for eviction include:

  • Violating the terms of a renter's agreement
  • Engaging in various illegal or violent activities, such as peddling drugs and weapons inside the premises putting other tenants and occupants in grave danger
  • Failure to renew your lease agreement after it has expired
  • Failure to pay rent on time

Understand the South Carolina Eviction Process

With South Carolina eviction laws clear on how to conduct legal evictions, every landlord should be keen to follow these procedures closely. As long as the landlord has probable cause to warrant your eviction, they can begin the eviction process as follows:

South Carolina Eviction Process Timeline

Steps of the Eviction ProcessAverage Timeline
Issuing an Official Notice5-30 days
Issuance and Service of Summons and ComplaintWithin 120 days
Court Hearing and Judgment10 days
Issuance of Writ of Execution5 days
Return of Rental Unit24 hours

Keep your eyes out for the following notices:

  • Five-day notice if you fail to pay rent within five days after the due date. If you pay the rent within five days, the landlord halts the eviction process; otherwise, be ready for a legal showdown
  • 14 day oral or written notice due to violating the terms of the lease agreement. If you correct the violation within 14 days, the landlord can halt the eviction process with 14-day detailed notice for neglecting to maintain a healthy and safe rental unit. As a violation of the Landlord and Tenant Act, you must correct the negligence immediately in an emergency case; otherwise, you have 14 days to do so.
  • Notice for lease expiry. If you possess a weekly type of tenancy, the landlord will issue a seven-day written notice after the expiry of the lease. If there isn't any legal cause to evict you, the landlord will wait until the lease expires and issue you a 30-day notice if you possess a monthly tenancy
  • Unconditional quit notice for engaging in illegal or violent activities inside the rental unit. It's a detailed notice containing the exact violation, but without the chance to you to correct the violation

The landlord will use either certified mail, process server, or personal service to deliver you the eviction notice. If you correct the cause within the notice period, the landlord must halt the eviction process. Furthermore, the notice must outline:

  • Reasons for the eviction
  • Your identity and any other occupant of the rental unit
  • Rental unit details
  • You forfeit any rights under the lease contract if you don't comply

Court Hearing

If you fail to honor or correct the probable cause within the period given by the eviction notice, the landlord will file an affidavit and an ejectment application in court. You will receive the affidavit containing justifications for your ejectment and an order to show cause. The court will issue a hearing date and time but allow you to fight the eviction by giving you ten days to request a hearing. Otherwise, the eviction process proceeds to a court appearance.

Issuance of a Writ of Ejectment

When the court ruling favors the landlord, you will receive a warrant of ejection within five days. You'll have 24 hours after receiving the warrant to vacate the premises, lest a sheriff force you out.

If you leave any personal possessions in the rental unit, the landlord can dispose of them however they deem fit without notifying you, but only if the eviction notice contains a clause that the landlord can dispose of your possessions in such a manner.

On the other hand, you may file an appeal against the court ruling that might grant you a few days' stays at execution.

Are There Any Defenses Against Evictions In South Carolina?  

 clearly outline the eviction process that both parties should follow keenly. However, it also provides some loopholes or defenses against these evictions.

  • Retaliatory evictions due to lodging a complaint against them, testifying against them, joining a tenants association, or reporting to a government agency about an uninhabitable matter within the premises.
  • Discriminatory eviction violates the Fair Housing Act due to your skin color, race, country of origin, sexual identity, familial status, disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, or sexual orientation.
  • 'Self-help' eviction practices include taking or destroying your belongings, changing locks, or shutting off utilities.
  • Unsubstantial lease violation not enough to warrant an eviction
  • Failure to follow the laid down process as per the law
  • The landlord neglected to maintain the rental unit
  • You cleared the rent within the five-day window period. Ensure you get a stamped receipt of the payment.

Tenant Rights in South Carolina

What rights do you have under the South Carolina eviction laws?

You have the right to

  • Adequate time and a chance to correct a violation in the form of a written or oral notice before an eviction
  • A welcoming, friendly, and safe living environment
  • Against retaliatory actions
  • Live in a rental unit without any forms of discrimination
  • The landlord carrying out all their duties and responsibilities
  • Have a service animal as per the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Notice of entry into your rental unit by the landlord
  • Rental disclosures such as the use of lead-based paints and the name and address of the rental unit's owner
  • Receiving your security deposit once the lease agreement expires

What to Do to Fight an Eviction in South Carolina on your own

If you feel your tenant rights have been violated or the landlord engaged in unlawful evictions, you can take certain steps on your own. You can supplement these measures with the South Carolina eviction laws, where applicable:

  • Negotiate with your landlord to halt the evictions
  • File a complaint against the landlord in court
  • File for appeals against the final judgment in an eviction lawsuit
  • Clear any rent arrears or correct a lease agreement violation within the time provided by the eviction notices

Next Steps for Fighting Against Unlawful Eviction in South Carolina If You Cannot Do It Yourself

If the DIY methods fail, there is still hope for you. There are other avenues outside the South Carolina eviction laws that can help you, including

  1. Filing a housing complaint with the South Carolina human affairs commission by first filing a Fair Housing Complaint Questionnaire if you feel the landlord discriminated against you
  2. Talk to a lawyer dealing with unlawful evictions

DoNotPay Can Help You Fight an Unlawful Eviction in South Carolina

Unfortunately, these DIY methods tend to fail. The South Carolina eviction laws can't protect you against that. In this case, you need a law partner like DoNotPay to help you out of this predicament.  

We will help you in four easy steps:

  1. Search for and open the Landlord Protection product on DoNotPay. 
  2. Select which issue applies to you. 
  3. Answer a simple set of questions so our chatbot can collect the necessary information to create your demand letter. 
  4. Choose whether you want DoNotPay to send the demand letter to your landlord or roommate on your behalf. If you already tried sending a demand letter and it didn't work, we can help you start the small claims court process.

You should hear back from your landlord directly once your demands are sent.

Why Use DoNotPay Fight an Unlawful Eviction in South Carolina

Knowledge is power. Learning about South Carolina eviction laws can help you gain the leverage you need to fight unlawful evictions. It's better when you combine this knowledge with our platform that is:

  • Fast and convenient
  • Super Easy
  • Successful
  • Save time and resources

What else can DoNotPay do?

The short answer, mountain loads! Learning about South Carolina eviction laws is just the beginning of what DoNotPay can do for you. Some other tasks we can handle conveniently and lightning fast for you include:

Try it today!

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