Renters in South Carolina have rights and responsibilities, and if you’re a renter you need to know what they are so you won’t find yourself evicted. What happens if landlords don’t make repairs? What if you’re late paying your rent? What if you get an eviction notice?
On April 19, members of the Greater Good Greenville community met with Holly Webster of SC Legal Services to get information and ask questions. Here are our Top Five Takeaways:
- Read before your sign, skimming your lease agreement isn’t enough.
- Proof of payment: keep receipts of any rent payments made in cash. Or better yet, pay by check or money order.
- If repairs are needed on the property, give written notice to the landlord that repairs must be made in 14 days (unless is it an emergency situation such as the property is need of water or heat). DO NOT STOP paying your rent and DO NOT deduct the cost of repairs from your rent.
- Moving in and moving out: take pictures of the property before and after the lease agreement. Before moving in, have a walk through with the landlord and create a written record of the condition of the unit.
- Get renters insurance. Costing as little as $12 a month, renters insurance could save you, if your belongings are stolen or destroyed in a fire. Your landlord is usually not responsible for replacing these items.
Have more questions? South Carolina Legal Services is a statewide law firm that provides civil legal services to protect the rights and represent the interests of low-income South Carolinians. For free services, contact them at 888-346-5592, email@example.com or www.sclegal.org. Their overarching advice: involve legal counsel sooner rather than later.