2022 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 27 - Property and Conveyances
Chapter 40 - Residential Landlord And Tenant Act
Section 27-40-730. Remedies for absence, nonuse, and abandonment.
(a) The unexplained absence of a tenant from a dwelling unit for a period of fifteen days after default in the payment of rent must be construed as abandonment of the dwelling unit.
(b) If the tenant has voluntarily terminated the utilities and there is an unexplained absence of a tenant after default in payment of rent, abandonment is considered immediate and the fifteen day rule as described in (a) does not apply.
(c) If the tenant abandons the dwelling unit, the landlord shall make reasonable efforts to rent it at a fair rental. If the landlord rents the dwelling unit for a term beginning before the expiration of the rental agreement, it terminates as of the date of the new tenancy, subject to the landlord's remedies under Section 27-40-740. If the landlord fails to use reasonable efforts to rent the dwelling unit at a fair rental or if the landlord accepts the abandonment as a surrender, the rental agreement is considered to be terminated by the landlord as of the date the landlord has notice of the abandonment. If the tenancy is from month to month or week to week, the term of the rental agreement for this purpose is considered to be a month or a week, as the case may be.
(d) When a dwelling unit has been abandoned or the rental agreement has come to an end and the tenant has removed a substantial portion of his property or voluntarily and permanently terminated his utilities and has left personal property in the dwelling unit or on the premises with a fair-market value of five hundred dollars or less, the landlord may enter the dwelling unit, using forcible entry if required, and dispose of the property.
(e) When a dwelling unit has been abandoned or the rental agreement has come to an end and the tenant has left personal property in the dwelling unit or on the premises in the cases not covered by subsection (d) above, the landlord may have the property removed only pursuant to the provisions of Sections 27-37-10 to 27-37-150.
(f) Where property is disposed of by the landlord pursuant to subsection (d) and the property was in excess of five hundred dollars, the landlord is not liable unless the landlord was grossly negligent.
HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 336, Section 1; 1995 Act No. 112, Section 7.