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Tenant rights in rental properties in South Carolina

As a tenant, you have rights that you can protect. You're in a real estate contract with your landlord, and you should be able to live without the fear of being taken advantage of. There are some cases when you may want to get your attorney involved, like if your landlord is trying to unlawfully evict you or charge you for damages you didn't cause.

With evictions, landlords can't usually kick you out of your home without a reasonable amount of notice. A court judgement is typically needed before you can be evicted; during the time it takes to get the judgment, you'll have time to pay back your rent or to rectify the issue before you leave the premises.

Another thing to know is that if your home is uninhabitable, the landlord needs to step in and help. Your landlord is responsible for keeping your home in good condition, including fixing any condition in the home that makes it dangerous or that is mentioned in your contract. If you have pests in your property, the landlord must usually pay to have them exterminated.

Your security deposit is another thing you'll want to keep an eye on. Usually, the deposit won't be more than two times the monthly rent cost, and this money could be held in a bank account that isn't touched by the landlord. At the end of your lease, the money should be returned to you less anything needed to repair the property. If your landlord asks for more after you move out or you're asked to pay too much, your attorney may be able to step in and help.

Source: FindLaw, "The FindLaw Guide to Renting an Apartment," accessed Sep. 24, 2015

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