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When Can A Tenant Be Evicted?

Hello, property and potential property owners! Welcome to the RPM Distinguished Care blog, where we provide practical advice about property management! If you’re a return visitor, welcome back. We sincerely appreciate your support! RPM Distinguished Care specializes in managing successful rental properties in and around the Charleston area. We’re here to make your lives easier by giving you the resources you need to maximize profitability and have a successful rental property. We provide comprehensive property management services at every possible level. From advertising and marketing to responding to applications, to inspecting and maintaining properties–there’s nothing we do not do. Further, we ensure tenant compliance, handle necessary evictions, and report directly back to you about revenue and profit potentials. We aim to make owning rental property as easy for you as possible, for as little money as possible. Check out the rest of our site to meet our team and discover what makes RPM Distinguished Care the best property management company in Charleston!


In our last post, we discussed how to prepare your rental property for tenants. The move-in date for your new tenant will approach quickly, so you want to be prepared. Preparing your property for a new tenant is crucial to the success of your rental business. We talked about doing a walk-through, checking appliances, making repairs, and cleaning thoroughly. If you’re interested in learning more about preparing your property for tenants, we encourage you to check out our last post!


Today, we’ll be discussing eviction and how to avoid having to evict a tenant. Although eviction involves removing a tenant from a property, it can also negatively impact the landlord. The eviction process can take weeks, or even months, and it can be costly and stressful. Sometimes, eviction cannot be avoided. However, it can sometimes be avoided if both parties– the tenant and landlord– have a good relationship and are both actively interested in avoiding the eviction process. If you are interested in learning more about the eviction process, you’re in the right place. Let’s get right to it.


First and foremost, it’s important to be aware of laws regarding eviction in your area. As a landlord, you must follow all of the rules and procedures stated in the law of the state in which you reside. Let’s take a look at the laws regarding eviction in South Carolina. 


In South Carolina, you cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. In most cases, a landlord can evict a tenant and take possession of the rental unit after meeting the following criteria. 


Nonpayment Of Rent


Nonpayment of rent is the most common reason for eviction. If a tenant fails or refuses to pay rent when it is due or demanded, the landlord may start eviction proceedings. In some states, the landlord cannot begin eviction proceedings without giving a five-day written notice. In South Carolina, eviction proceedings may begin after a five-day grace period. Rent is considered late in South Carolina the day after its due date. Notice is not required, but here at RPM Distinguished Care, our management system and team send reminders as a courtesy. You may also choose to state clearly in the lease that if the tenant does not pay rent within five days of the due date, you will begin the eviction process, and they will get no further notice. 


Violation Of Lease Agreement


If a tenant violates the terms of the lease or rental agreement, besides nonpayment of rent, the landlord can give what is known as a fourteen-day notice to cure. It is important to note that this is for minor lease violations. This notice must clearly specify what the tenant did to violate the lease, and informs the tenant that they have 14 days to fix, or “cure”, the violation or the landlord will terminate the lease and file an eviction suit against the tenant. If the tenant does not remedy the violation or live by the terms of the lease within the 14 days of the notice, the landlord can begin the eviction process. However, if the tenant does amend the violation within the timeframe, the landlord should allow them a “reasonable” amount of time. In cases like this, it is important to be aware of what your tenant’s responsibilities are. These responsibilities include:


  • Keeping the rental unit reasonably safe and clean
  • Using all facilities and appliances in a safe manner
  • Complying with all building and housing codes that affect health and safety
  • Complying with all lease rules and regulations 


Additionally, if the tenant has participated in illegal activity on the premises of the rental unit, the landlord can give what is known as an “unconditional quit notice”. This notice informs the tenant that the landlord will begin eviction proceedings due to illegal activity performed by the tenant. 


What steps can be taken to avoid evicting a tenant?


In some cases, eviction can be avoided from the landlord or property manager’s stance. First and foremost, landlords should be searching for the right tenant, usually referred to as a “good” tenant. A good tenant pays rent on time, follows lease terms, refrains from causing issues, and cares for the property. Finding the ideal tenant begins with the tenant screening process. In fact, tenant screening is one of the most crucial parts of owning and renting a property. When you are eager to fill a vacancy, it can be tempting to overlook this process, but that is where you can land yourself in trouble. Typically, tenant screening involves:


  • Background checks
  • Credit history check
  • Verification of employment and income
  • Verification of previous addresses and landlords


Thorough tenant screening can help you avoid headaches and stress down the road. However, people can sometimes be unpredictable. If you have a legitimate and legal reason to pursue eviction, you may still be able to avoid having to go through the process. In most cases, tenants know when they did something wrong, and they know that they don’t want an eviction on their record. This means you may be able to convince them to move out voluntarily. In instances like this, communication is key. Be honest and direct with the tenant, letting them know exactly why you need them to move out, especially if it is because they violated the terms of the lease. In most cases, you do not want to leave room for negotiation, as this will prolong the process. Instead, be clear and direct, stating why you need them to move out and by when they need to vacate the property before you will start the eviction process. Try to avoid being harsh in these situations, even if the tenant did something wrong– Tensions can make things more difficult for both parties.


We hope you found this article helpful. If you are a rental property owner looking for assistance in managing your property, feel free to reach out to us! RPM Distinguished Care specializes in residential property management and offers a range of services including communication, marketing, and advertising, thorough tenant screening and selection, full-service leasing, timely rent collection, regular evaluations, cost-effective and reliable maintenance, strict and compliant evictions, and comprehensive accounting. We utilize an online portal for owners to keep track of their property, including access to reports and financial statements. With over 30 years of experience, we know how to keep your property at its best. We believe in full-service and comprehensive property management. That’s why we take the time to understand each of our clients and help identify their most closely-held goals. Let us give you peace of mind that your property is in good hands. Use our website to request your free assessment and meet with our expert team! Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope to hear from you soon! See you next time!


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We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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