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Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53971
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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In South Carolina I have rented a residential property /2

Customer Question

In South Carolina I have rented a residential property for 11/2 years with no lease. Can the tenants just move in the middle of the month and leave their security deposit to pay for the month? They left the property a mess, painted the kitchen a hideous red, and removed two rooms installed carpet.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 12 months ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

No, they cannot. With no lease, your tenants are month to month tenants. The following SC statute requires at least a 30 day written notice.

South Carolina Code 27-40-770. Periodic tenancy; holdover remedies

(b) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least thirty days before the termination date specified in the notice.

So, you are entitled to rent for that 30 day period for which no notice was given and you are entitled to recover damages. The deposit covers both unpaid rent and damages and if it is not sufficient to cover both, you are entitled to recover the shortfall. So, you do have recourse against them for these amounts. If they won't pay you voluntarily, file suit against them. Filing the suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if they don't then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on them for a debtor examination. That forces them to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about their assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property they own to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once served with a summons they are being sued, they will pay you rather than spend the time and money defending a suit they cannot win.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Expert:  Richard replied 12 months ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

No, they cannot. With no lease, your tenants are month to month tenants. The following SC statute requires at least a 30 day written notice.

South Carolina Code 27-40-770. Periodic tenancy; holdover remedies

(b) The landlord or the tenant may terminate a month-to-month tenancy by a written notice given to the other at least thirty days before the termination date specified in the notice.

So, you are entitled to rent for that 30 day period for which no notice was given and you are entitled to recover damages. The deposit covers both unpaid rent and damages and if it is not sufficient to cover both, you are entitled to recover the shortfall. So, you do have recourse against them for these amounts. If they won't pay you voluntarily, file suit against them. Filing the suit will give you the collection options and leverage you need to collect the debt owed you. That's because once the suit is filed and a judgment awarded, you become a judgment creditor, and if they don't then pay the judgment, you can have the sheriff serve a summons on them for a debtor examination. That forces them to meet you in court again and answer questions under oath about their assets. After that information is obtained, you have the power to attach bank accounts, have the sheriff seize other personal property, and/or place liens on any non-homestead property they own to satisfy the judgment. In my experience, simply filing the suit is typically all you need to do to resolve this outside of court because most of the time, once served with a summons they are being sued, they will pay you rather than spend the time and money defending a suit they cannot win.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as OK, Good or Excellent (hopefully Good or Excellent). I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

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