This statutory database is current through the 2003 Regular Session of the South Carolina General Assembly. Changes to the statutes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly, which will convene in January 2004, will be incorporated as soon as possible. Some changes enacted by the 2004 General Assembly may take immediate effect. The State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Legislative Council make no warranty as to the accuracy of the data, and users rely on the data entirely at their own risk.
Title 27 - Property and Conveyances
CREATION, CONSTRUCTION AND TERMINATION OF LEASEHOLD ESTATES
Tenancies which may be created by parol.
A tenancy for not to exceed one year may be created by oral agreement.
Agreement for more than one year is void unless in writing.
Any agreement for the use or occupation of real estate for more than one year shall be void unless in writing.
When tenancies of real estate shall be deemed month to month.
All tenancies of real estate other than agricultural lands shall be deemed from month to month unless there be an agreement otherwise. But this section shall not apply to domestic servants, farm laborers or tenants at will.
Use of premises without agreement or permission or by trespass; rent.
When a person enters upon or uses the premises of another without agreement or without the permission of the owner or by trespass the owner may at his option waive such tort and treat and deem such person a tenant at will. In such case the landlord shall have and be entitled to a reasonable rental for the use and occupation of such premises and all remedies for the enforcement of his rights in respect thereto as in other cases of tenancy at will.
Effect of sale of real estate under lease.
When real estate is sold while under lease, the relationship of landlord and tenant is created ipso facto as between the purchaser and the tenant as if the purchaser had been the landlord in the first instance and the purchaser shall be entitled to all the benefits and rights under such lease as if he had been the lessor from the date of the purchase.
Validity and effect of subleases.
A sublease by a tenant without written consent of the landlord is a nullity insofar as the rights of the landlord are concerned, except that rent collected by a tenant from a subtenant shall be deemed to be held in trust by the tenant for the benefit of the landlord until the payment of the landlord's claim for rent. But when the premises have been sublet the sublessor, as between himself and the subtenant or sublessee, shall be deemed the landlord and the sublessee the tenant under him and the provisions of Chapters 33 through 37, Section 27-39-10 and Article 3 of Chapter 39 of this Title, other than Sections 27-35-80, 27-35-170 and 27-35-180, 27-39-280 and 27-39-300 shall apply to sublessors and sublessees, as between themselves, as in other cases of landlord and tenant.
Person deemed in possession of real estate.
In all cases of tenancy the owner, landlord or person entitled to possession shall be deemed to be in possession of the real estate used or occupied by the tenant and the tenant shall be deemed to be holding thereunder.
Attornments to strangers by tenants are void.
To prevent the difficulty and expense to which a landlord or lessor may be put by the fraudulent practice of tenants in attorning to strangers who claim title to the estates of their respective landlords or lessors, every such attornment of any tenant of any lands, tenements or hereditaments shall be absolutely null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever and the possession of the landlord or lessor shall not be deemed or construed to be in any wise changed, altered or affected by any such attornment. But nothing herein contained shall extend to vacate or affect any attornment made pursuant to, and in consequence of, some judgment, decree or order of court or made with the privity and consent of the landlord or lessor or pursuant to Section 27-35-50.
Time for payment of rents.
Unless otherwise agreed upon rents shall be payable monthly and at the end of each calendar month, excepting rents for farm lands.
Time of termination of farm tenancies.
All tenancies of farm laborers, sharecroppers and renters of farm lands shall end on the last day of December in each year unless there be an express agreement to the contrary or unless continued by operation of law as herein provided.
Time of expiration of agreed tenancy for term or years.
When there is an express agreement, either oral or written, as to the term of the tenancy of a tenant for term or for years such tenancy shall end without notice upon the last day of the agreed term.
Termination of month to month tenancy.
A tenancy from month to month may be ended by either party giving to the other written notice of thirty days to the effect that such tenancy shall be then terminated. No such tenancy shall ripen into a tenancy from year to year.
Notice required for tenants at will and domestic servants.
All tenants at will and domestic servants shall vacate the premises occupied upon twenty days' written notice.
Failure to pay rent terminates tenancy.
Failure to pay the rent agreed upon when due, or a reasonable rent for use and occupation when demanded, shall terminate all tenancies for a term, for years, from month to month and at will and the tenant shall forthwith vacate the premises without notice.
Effect of abandonment of premises.
When a tenant abandons premises theretofore occupied by him the landlord may enter and take possession thereof, making distraint as herein provided of any property found thereon, including the property exempt from distress by the provisions of Section 27-39-230 and the term of a tenant abandoning premises used and occupied by him as such shall be deemed ended by such abandonment. Absence from the property for fifteen days after default in the payment of rent shall be construed as abandonment.
Unlawful abandonment of buildings without notice.
Any tenant abandoning a building and leaving it open and exposed to vandalism without giving notice to the landlord of such action shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than one hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days.
Penalty on tenants continuing in possession three months after demand of possession.
All tenants, whether for life or years, by sufferance or at will, or persons coming in under or by collusion with them who shall hold over after the legal determination of their estates, after demand made in writing for delivering possession thereof by the person having the reversion or remainder therein or his agent, for the space of three months after such demand shall forfeit double the value of the use of the premises, recoverable by action.
Penalty for not delivering possession after notice of intent to quit.
In case any tenant shall give notice in writing of his intention to quit the premises rented by him and shall not accordingly deliver up the possession at the time in such notice contained, the tenant, his executors or administrators, shall pay to the landlord double the rent which he otherwise would have been liable to pay. But nothing herein contained shall be construed to give such tenant a right to discontinue or determine his tenancy by such notice in any other manner than according to the laws of force at the time of giving such notice.