South Carolina Eviction Process

When you are done reading about the Alabama Eviction Process below, we recommend you purchase the corresponding South Carolina Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.


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South Carolina Eviction Laws

The South Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws are contained under Title 27, Chapter 40 of the South Carolina Code, under what is commonly known as the South Carolina Residential Landlord & Tenant Act. The specific Eviction Laws are under another section under Title 27, Chapter 37 of the Code called Ejectment of Tenants. These statutes lay the foundation for the eviction laws, and individual courts may set their own rules that adhere to what is in this code. If you are a landlord in South Carolina, it is a good idea to read and become familiar with these landlord tenant laws.

3 Reasons to Evict

In South Carolina, a landlord may evict a tenant for 3 reasons:

  1. Non-Payment of Rent (Most Common Reason)
  2. Staying in the Property after the lease term has ended (called a holdover)
  3. Lease Violation (unauthorized pets, causing damage, criminal activity, etc.)

South Carolina Eviction Notice

The first step in the South Carolina Eviction Process is serving the tenant with a proper South Carolina Eviction Notice. South Carolina has different notices for different reasons. If a landlord needs to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent, the landlord needs to serve (deliver) a 5 Day Eviction Notice. If a landlord in South Carolina needs to evict a tenant for a lease violation, the landlord needs to serve a 14 Day Eviction Notice. These eviction notices give the tenant an opportunity to cure the problem before the deadline, or else they will be sued for eviction. It is important that the landlord checks their lease also. Some leases give the tenant more than the standard 5 or 14 days to cure the problem.

If the landlord needs to evict a tenant simply because the lease term is up (or will be up), the landlord should look to the lease. If the lease does not address the notice period to end a tenancy (or if the tenancy is for an uncertain term), then the landlord needs to serve a 20 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy. If the tenant is on a month-to-month tenancy, the landlord should serve a 30 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy. If the tenant is on a week-to-week tenancy, the landlord should serve a 7 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy.

Ejectment Action

What happens if the landlord has served the Eviction Notice, waited out the notice period, and the tenant is still there? The landlord needs to go to court for relief. The landlord should find the magistrate court for the jurisdiction where the property sits and tell them they need to file an Ejectment Action against their tenant. The clerks office at the magistrate court can tell the landlord which court is the correct one. The clerks office will give the landlord the proper forms to use. The landlord will fill out and file an Affidavit (sworn statement) and an Application of Ejectment. There will be a filing fee. Then the court will issue what is called an Order to Show Cause and have the Constable or Sheriff deliver it to the tenant along with the Affidavit and Application. It will give the tenant 10 days to settle the case with the landlord, or request a hearing to prove why they should not be evicted. If the tenant does neither, the landlord will win by default. If there will be a hearing, the court will set a court date.

Going to Court

If the court sets a hearing, the landlord must be present in order to win the ejectment action. If the tenant does not show up, the landlord will win by default. If both landlord and tenant are present, the court will hear the case. The landlord should bring all evidence and paperwork needed to prove the case, including the eviction notice, the lease, communication letters or emails with the tenant, pictures, witnesses, etc. The judge cannot rule for the landlord without evidence. If the judge rules for the landlord, the landlord should request a Writ of Ejectment immediately, or find out how soon the court can issue one.

Writ of Ejectment and “Set-Out”

The Writ of Ejectment authorizes the physical removal of the tenant. Once the Court issues it, the Constable or Sheriff will deliver it to the tenant within 5 days. Once delivered to the tenant, it will give the tenant 24 hours to vacate the property. If they do not, the Constable will contact the landlord for a time for physical removal, called “Set-Out.” At Set Out, the landlord must provide their own movers to remove the tenant’s property to the curb. The Sheriff or Constable is simply present to “keep the peace” during the process.

Next Step: We recommend you purchase the corresponding South Carolina Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.

This site strives to have the most current information on state eviction laws and forms, however, legislatures and judges’ rulings are always changing the laws. The information on this site is to be used as a guide, and is not to be used as legal advice, or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you believe any information on this site is incorrect or needs to be updated, please Contact Us immediately.