What are my rights as a landlordif I live in the house from which I also rent out a room?

I own my own house and have a roommate who is being destructive to the property. Does SC differentiate a tenant from a boarder? If so, can I evict him sooner than if it were a more traditional landlord/tenant situation? I have asked him to move out by 02/01/11. However, I am worried that he is going to retaliate and further damage my property and perhaps even harm me. He did not sign a lease, so if I’m interpreting the code correctly, it defaults to a month-to-month arrangement.

Asked on December 22, 2010 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

1) A tenant is a border and vice versa, for eviction purposes.

2) You are correct; without written lease (i.e. with only an oral or verbal lease) this is a month to month arrangement. You may give your roommate a month's notice that the tenancy is over; if he does not move out at that point, you may bring eviction proceedings. (Do NOT simply lock him out; you have to go through the courts.)

3) If he damages anything, you may apply any security deposit to it and/or sue him for the cost or replacement or repair.

4) If he has already damaged your property willfully, you should be able to begin the eviction process immediately. Tenants may not intentionally destroy the landlord's property.

Note: you can get forms and instructions from your court.

5) If you fear for your own safety, you may wish to speak with your police dept., appraise them of the situation, and ask their advice.


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