Many people do not realize when moving into a new rental unit that they are entering into a legal relationship. The relationship between landlords and tenants in South Carolina is governed largely by the South Carolina Landlord Tenant Act. The Act provides guidelines for security deposits, the rights of both the landlord and the tenant, and laws pertaining to when a landlord can terminate a tenancy and evict a tenant.
A number of disputes can arise in this legal relationship, which is why it is so important for both tenants and landlords in the state to have a well drafted lease that can help keep them out of court. When evictions or disputes do occur, an experienced landlord tenant dispute attorney can help both landlords and tenants understand and defend their rights.
The SC Landlord Tenant Act
Tenancies are governed by the lease entered into by the tenant and landlord as well as by the South Carolina Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. The Act provides many rights to both landlords and tenants, and it outlines requirements of each party. A few of the main provisions outlined in the Act include:
– Landlords are required to disclose certain information to tenants, such as the names of anyone authorized to act on the landlord’s behalf.
– Security deposits must be returned to the tenant within 30 days of the tenant moving, although the law does not limit the amount landlords can charge for security deposits.
– When security deposits are not returned within an adequate amount of time, tenants can sue the landlord for an amount up to three times the deposit amount.
– Landlords must wait until a tenant is five days late with their rent before they can begin eviction proceedings, unless stated otherwise in the lease.
– When landlords fail to make important repairs, tenants have the right to take the landlord to court to terminate the lease and possibly receive damages.
The Act also outlines other important legal issues, such as notice required when the landlord wants to enter the property, protection for tenants from landlord retaliation, and how landlords must handle the tenant’s abandoned property.
Understanding the Eviction Process
A landlord may choose to evict a tenant for several reasons, but they must also provide proper notice to the tenant. Eviction notice must be given for:
– Nonpayment of rent
– Violation of the lease agreement
Each of these issues has their own guidelines for the amount of notice that must be given. Once proper notice has been given, the landlord must then apply for a Rule to Show Cause, which is then served on the tenant. Within ten days of being served, the tenant must respond to the Rule to Show Cause. This provides the tenant with an opportunity to defend themselves against the eviction.
If the landlord is successful with their case, a judge will issue a writ of ejectment, which is the final notice to the tenant to remove their belongings and vacate the property. After that time, the tenant has 24 hours to remove all of their belongings from the property.
Types of Disputes We Can Help With
If you are involved in a landlord-tenant dispute, attorney Beth Santilli can help. Some of the most common issues our office handles include:
– Rental payment issues (tenants and landlords)
– Violations of lease agreements (tenants and landlords)
– Violations of SC Landlord Tenant Act (tenants and landlords)
– Premises liability and personal injury claims (tenants and landlords)
– Property damage (tenants and landlords)
– Housing discrimination (tenants and landlords)
– Alleged failure to repair claims (tenants and landlords)
Get Legal Help Today
Landlord-tenant disputes are very complex. Often, neither side is completely aware of the many rights that protect them or the legal obligations they have to fulfill. If you are involved in a dispute, our landlord-tenant dispute lawyers at Beth Santilli Law, LLC are here to help.
Attorney Santilli has the necessary experience to navigate these disputes while helping to ensure your rights are protected. We can also help you to draft a proper lease that can keep disputes from arising. When you need help with a landlord or tenant issue, contact us to schedule a meeting and discuss your case.