A landlord in South Carolina can evict a tenant for failing to pay rent, violating his lease or failing to leave the property when the lease expires. Check your lease before evicting a tenant to determine how much notice you must give him. Typically, you must give five days' notice before evicting him if he hasn't paid rent, 14 days' notice for lease violation and 20 days' notice at the end of the lease term. Once you have determined how much notice you must give, you can begin the eviction proceedings.
Mail written notice to the tenant explaining what he needs to do to avoid eviction and when he will be evicted if he fails to do it. This is called a notice to terminate tenancy. Get a receipt from the post office as proof of notification.
Go to the courthouse in the same jurisdiction as the property. Ask the clerk where to file an ejectment action.
Receive an affidavit and an application of ejectment from the court, fill them out and pay the filing fee. An officer of the court will deliver the documents to the tenant, who then has 10 days to come to an arrangement with you or to make his case in court.
Attend the hearing if the tenant requests a court date. Bring all the relevant evidence, such as the lease, the eviction notice and any other communication you have had with the tenant regarding the eviction. Make your case in court.
Request a writ of ejectment from the court if you win the case or if the tenant never sets a court date. Fill out the writ, and file it at court. An officer of the court will deliver it to the tenant, who then has one day to leave.
Wait for the tenant to leave during the grace day. If he does not, your local constable will arrange a time with you to forcibly remove the tenant's belongings and place them on the curb, in a process called a Set Out.
Hire movers for the Set Out. The constable or your local sheriff will observe the proceedings ensure the tenant's compliance. After the Set Out, the property is legally vacant and the eviction proceedings are closed.
- Make copies of all the legal documents involved in the proceedings.
- Behave appropriately while you are in court. Dress conservatively and turn off your cell phone.
- If you have specific questions about the law in your situation, consult a lawyer.
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