Do I have to give notice of demolition to someone living illegally on my property?

UPDATED: Dec 13, 2012

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Do I have to give notice of demolition to someone living illegally on my property?

Asked on December 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor


1) You have to exercise reasonable care in regards to anyone, even trespassers, on your property (though admittedly, the level of care does vary based upon whether someone is permitted or not to be there). If you do not provide notice and this person is somehow injured in or as a result of the demotion, you could face substantial liability.

2) You say they are living there illegally, but it's possible they disagree and if there has been no court determination yet (e.g. you have not brought an ejectment action against them), it's possible they do have some rights to possession which the demolition would violate; therefore, you really should first have them removed through a court proceeding  (ejectment if they are not a tenant; eviction if they had been a legal tenant who then refused to leave) prior to the demolition.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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