If you’re a landlord seeking to evict a tenant, use a South Carolina (SC) eviction notice to begin the process. Your eviction notice must be written according to South Carolina state law, and give your tenant the legally required amount of time to respond or move out.
In South Carolina, eviction lawsuits are governed by Title 15, Chapter 67 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.
South Carolina Eviction Notices by Type
Download a free eviction notice customized for South Carolina state law below in MS Word (.docx) or Adobe PDF format.
30-Day Lease Termination: Use this notice to let a tenant know that you’re ending a month-to-month lease, and that they must prepare to leave your property. In South Carolina, landlords must give tenants 30 days’ notice to move out if they’re on a month-to-month lease.
14-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In South Carolina, landlords must give tenants 14 days’ notice before the eviction process can proceed in court. During that time, tenants have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem before the eviction process can proceed in court.
Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they’ve broken the terms of your lease. In South Carolina, if a tenant uses the property for illegal activity, they don’t have the option to fix (or “cure”) the problem, and must move out immediately or risk being forcibly evicted by a court order.
5-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit: Use this notice to begin evicting a tenant if they haven’t paid rent on time. In South Carolina, landlords must give tenants five days to pay rent before the eviction process can proceed in court.
If you wish to send a letter simply reminding your tenant that rent is late (without threat of eviction), use a late rent notice.
Eviction Laws & Requirements
- Eviction Lawsuit: S.C. Code Ann. §27-37-20
- Grace Period for Rent Payment: 5 days S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-710(B) and 27-37-10(B)
- Late or Non-Rent Payment Notice: 5 days S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-710(B) and 27-37-10(B)
- Notice of Non-Compliance: A landlord must give their tenant 14 days to correct a violation of the lease agreement. The landlord may give the tenant an unconditional quit notice and evict the tenant immediately for conducting illegal activity on the premises. S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-710(A), S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-710(B)
- Lease Termination (Month-to-Month): 30 days S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-770
What is the Eviction Process in South Carolina?
Step 1: Deliver the correct eviction notice
A landlord must send the appropriate eviction notice to their tenant warning them that they’re at risk of being evicted, or that they’re currently being evicted and must move out.
Step 2: Wait for the tenant to correct the problem
If the tenant hasn’t paid rent on time, the landlord must give them at least five days to make the full rent payment before sending them a notice to quit for non-payment. If the tenant has broken the terms of the lease agreement, then the landlord must inform them of the issue and give 14 days’ notice before proceeding with the eviction process in South Carolina. If the tenant has done something illegal while on the rental property, no notice is required and they can be evicted immediately.
Step 3: Apply for an Application for Ejectment
The landlord must apply for an Application for Ejectment with the court to officially begin the process of removing the tenant from the property.
Step 4: Serve the Order to Show Cause on the tenant
After the Application is processed, an Rule to Vacate or Show Cause must be personally served on the tenant or other adult on the premises by the sheriff or a process server. If two attempts to serve the tenant were unsuccessful, the Rule may be posted somewhere clearly visible at the property, and a copy be sent by certified mail to the tenant. However, evidence of the two attempts must also be included with the posted Rule and in the mailing.
Step 5: Wait for the tenant’s answer
The tenant has 10 days to answer the Rule so they may defend their case in court if they choose.
Step 6: Set the case for trial
If the tenant fails to show cause within 10 days, a Writ of Ejectment is issued by the magistrate, and the sheriff serves the Warrant on the tenant. If the tenant does respond, then the eviction lawsuit moves to a trial hearing. At the hearing, the judge or magistrate either decides the case, or sets it for a trial by jury. Either party can request that the case go to trial.
Step 7: The court issues the Warrant of Ejectment
If the landlord wins the trial, the Writ of Ejectment is issued by the judge or magistrate within five days and then served on the tenant. The tenant then has 24 hours to vacate the premises. If the tenant wins, then the eviction stops and they can remain on the property.
Related Court Forms
Application for Ejectment: To begin the eviction process, the landlord fills out an application to begin the legal proceedings.
Rule to Vacate or Show Cause: The court issues the Rule to Vacate or Show Cause upon the landlord’s application for ejectment.
Affidavit and Itemization of Accounts: The landlord submits this form to get court approval of the landlord’s costs, including rent, late fees, and other incidental damages incurred by evicting the tenant.
Writ of Ejectment: The Writ of Ejectment is issued by the court for the sheriff to serve on the tenant and force them to vacate the property.
Eviction Resources for South Carolina Landlords and Tenants
The following South Carolina Bar webpages discuss various topics related to the Landlord/Tenant relationship within the state:
Additional tenant resources:
All South Carolina landlords must get an order from the court before evicting a tenant. Never resort to handling the eviction on your own, like changing the locks or cutting off the tenant’s utilities.
Be sure you understand the rights and duties of South Carolina landlords before proceeding with an eviction lawsuit.