Do I have to vacate my home in 5 days for being behind on rent?

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Do I have to vacate my home in 5 days for being behind on rent?

This was the first notice I recieved and it was a notice to vacate in 5 days. I have a 3 month old baby.

Asked on April 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you do not pay your rent when it is due, your landlord may evict you. However, the only legal way to evict you is through the courts, by bringing an eviction (also called a summary dispossess) action. If you do not voluntarily leave, the landlord cannot simply kick you out or change the locks; if he does, he has wrongfully evicted you and you could sue him for reinstatement and/or monetary compensation. However, bear in mind that if you do not catch up on rent, the landlord has an absolute right to evict you and can bring an eviction action. If he does, it will typically take 4 - 8 weeks (depending on how crowded or busy your courts are and how actively he tries to push the process along) from start to finish--i.e. from when he files for eviction to when you are evicted. Having a three-month old baby is legally irrelevant--you have to pay if you want to stay.


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