How can I lock out a tenant?

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How can I lock out a tenant?

I have given tenant 15 day written notice. Tenant is still in residence 5 days past time to be out. Tenant is violation of lease agreement in many areas.

Asked on October 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Do not lock out you tenant. If you use self help to evict your tenant by locking him or her out, you most likely will find yourself as a defendant is a serious lawsuit.

If your tenant is still in the unit past the time of his or her notice to vacate, you need to file an unlawful detainer action against him or her with the court and serve it upon the tenant. If there is no answer in the required time period (ususally 5 days for an unlawful detainer action) you can take the tenant's default. If the tenant answers the complaint, you will end up with a court date. You personally cannot serve the tenant with the summons and complaint. You need a third party over 18 years to do so.

Given your circumstances, I recommend that you hire a landlord tenant attorney to asisst you in evicting this particular tenant.


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