Eviction Process in South Carolina
Reasons why a landlord can evict a person in South Carolina include
Nonpayment of rent. If you have not paid the rent within five days after it is due the landlord can start the eviction process. In order to do so, the landlord must provide the tenant a five day notice stating that tenant only has five days to pay the past due rent or the tenancy will end. The rule for the five day written notice may be waived in the lease. If the landlord has already given you one five day late payment warning during your current lease, they do not have to give you a written five-day warning.
- Breaking the rental agreement. Common lease violations would include keeping the property free of health and safety violations. Health and safety violations carry a 14 day notice. If the property is not brought back into condition during that 14 days you could be evicted. Other lease violations like using the property for commercial activities or illegal activities could also cause the lease to be terminated.
- Termination at end of lease. If the landlord wants to recover their property at the end of the least you must leave. If you do not you could be evicted. If the lease automatically renews and the tenant refuses to renew the lease they can be evicted. A month-to-month tenant can end the tendency by giving a 30 day notice to the landlord.
The eviction notice you receive from your landlord is controlled by your state landlord tenant laws rather than your residential lease agreement. This is also true for the eviction process. While your rental agreement form states when your lease begins and ends, it doesn’t usually contain information about eviction notice processes. Rental laws derive from the landlord tenant rules (state statutes) Eviction procedures vary widely around the country, just like eviction rules. All the names at the bottom of the page are various names for eviction notices or lease ending notices. However, they are used to accomplish different purposes. For this reason, it is crucial to examine the notice you get from your landlord carefully. Ask yourself “What is it that the landlord is trying to accomplish with this notice? What is it that I am supposed to do?”
Eviction Process in South Carolina
The eviction paper is called a rule to show cause. The landlord serves this paper on the tenant personally or the sheriff or private process server can post the paper on the door and mail a copy after attempting twice to personally serve.
Once the rule to show cause is received you must respond within 10 days if you intend to contest the landlord’s claims. The answer must be filed with the court contained on the rule to show cause. If you do not respond to the rule to show cause, the landlord will win by default. If you do respond to the rule to show cause, a hearing date will be established. You have the right to request a jury trial. If you intend to have a jury trial, you need to request it when you respond to the rule to show cause. The rule to show cause will typically contain a hearing date. Even if you intend to go to the hearing you should respond in writing to the rule to show cause.
At the hearing, the landlord and tenant will each have an opportunity to present their case. Both landlord and tenant should bring to court copies of the leases, the notices, rent receipts, written communications with each other, and any paperwork or witnesses necessary to help them prove their case. The judge will listen to each party and render a decision. The judge’s decision may be appealed to a higher court. To appeal you must pay an appeal bond and appeal within five days of the decision. Rent must still be paid if you appeal. If the tenant loses (and is willing to leave the rental unit after the eviction) an appeal may be filed for up to 30 days after the court decision.(In this situation you would be vacating the rental unit but appealing the judge’s decision.).
If the tenant wins, they may say. If the tenant loses, the court will issue a writ of ejectment within five days of the hearing. The writ of ejectment will tell the tenant when they must move. It will be delivered by the constable or deputy sheriff to the tenant personally, or a copy will be left on the tenant’s door. 24 hours later the sheriff may return with an eviction crew to carry out the eviction.
Most states require that evictions occur for only a few reasons that are defined in the state’s Landlord-Tenant statutes. You can download the statutes for your state from this website. The book “How to Stop an Eviction” has chapters on contents of notices and types of notices. If the notice you receive does not contain the correct information, you can get your eviction action cancelled. To obtain those chapters go here.
How the notice is served on you is very important. States have different notice requirements, defined by the state statutes. You can download your state statutes from this website. If the notice was given to you improperly, you can get your eviction action cancelled. The book “How to Stop an Eviction” has a chapter on serving the notice so you can see if you were served properly. To obtain the chapter, go here.
After the notice period, the landlord summons the tenant to court. The summons must meet state standards for content and timing. The state standards can be downloaded from this website. The book “How to Stop an Eviction” has a chapter on contents of the summons so you can verify that the summons contained the correct information. If it does not, you may be able to get the eviction dismissed. To get access to that information, go here.
How the summons is served is important in the tenant’s defense. Many states require that the summons notice be served by someone other than the landlord. The service is often done improperly. In the book “How to Stop an Eviction” there is a section on contesting service of the summons. To get that information, go here.
It is also important that the tenant respond properly to the summons with the correct information to use at trial. There is an extensive chapter in the book “How to Stop an Eviction” showing the tenant how and where to research to determine problems with the landlord’s position. The response to the summons is where that research is entered. The chapter contains over 200 defenses to the eviction. To get access to the information, go here.
In the book “How to Stop an Eviction” there are two chapters relating to the trial. One chapter focusses on preparing for the trial, organizing the information and preparing it to be summarized and presented quickly. The other chapter is on trial strategy. Knowing what information to bring up and when is crucial to the tenant winning. To get access to that information, go here.
If the tenant loses at trial, there are still an additional 9 ways to either win or stall the eviction, sometimes for months. To get access to that information, go here.
Other Useful Information Below
1) Types of tenancies
The notices that you get from your landlord are based on the type of tenant you are. The landlord is required to know what type of tenant you are and to give you the proper notice. If they give you the wrong type of notice, you can often get your eviction action dismissed. To figure out which type of tenant you are, click on this type of tenancy for a quick analysis.
2) Bad mistakes that landlords make that can get them sued.
Click on the links below to see a quick summary of the problem
Health and safety Violations
Violations of Quiet Enjoyment
Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices
3) Getting the laws of your state
This summary information is provided with the understanding that it is subject to errors, omissions and misstatements. State laws are updated frequently and the most up to the minute information is contained in your state’s statutes.
It is important that you obtain the laws of your state and completely review them. We have a link on this website for you to obtain your state’s laws. To get your state’s laws, click here.
See paragraph above for context of the notices below. The paragraph begins “The eviction Notice”.
Letter of Eviction Notice
3 Day Notice to Quit
Landlord 30 Day Notice
3 Day Eviction
30 Day Eviction
3 day Eviction Notice
3 Day Notice of Eviction
Tenant Notice to Vacate
Notice to Tenant to Vacate
End Tenancy Letter
30 day Notice of Eviction
Notice to Vacate letter
3 Day Notice to Vacate
Notice to Tenants
Letter of Eviction
30 Day Notice to Vacate
Lease termination letter
Notice to Evict letter
Notice to Vacate
Notice For Eviction
Notice to End Lease
For the eviction process in other states, click the link below