South Carolina bankruptcy lawyers explain the program, how the process works
The federal government hopes to distribute $46 billion in rental assistance and other funding this month to state and local governments in order to prevent renters and homeowners from being evicted from their homes and apartments, according to Bloomberg News.
The rush to distribute funds designed to prevent foreclosures on federally-backed mortgages is due to the current federal eviction moratorium, which is set to expire July 31. The eviction moratorium deadline has already been extended. President Joe Biden’s administration said the moratorium will not be extended again.
Federal funding can be used to pay rent and for other programs designed to prevent evictions by creating agreements between landlords and tenants.
However, reaching an agreement and stopping the eviction process can often be very complicated. Here's what you should know.
Can renters and homeowners be evicted?
Since September 2020, federal law has protected people who rent or own a home, apartment, or another dwelling from being evicted for nonpayment of rent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) instituted the nationwide eviction moratorium, which is set to expire July 31, 2021.
Other laws exist and vary by state in terms of what rights landlords have for evicting a tenant. In South Carolina, a landlord can evict a renter for the following reasons, according to the South Carolina Legal Justice Center:
- Non-payment of rent (a landlord can begin the eviction process five days after the rent is due)
- Breaking a rental agreement (not keeping the property clean, property damage, dangerous conditions on the property, etc.)
- Unlicensed use of the property (using the property as a business or anything other than a living space)
- Expiration of rental agreement (expired lease, whether it’s a written or verbal agreement)
What rights do homeowners and renters have?
If your landlord has threatened to evict you or started the eviction process, it’s important to understand that you have rights as a renter in South Carolina. These rights include:
- Your landlord must file eviction papers with the court that has jurisdiction over your case
- Your landlord must state in writing in the eviction papers filed with the court why they want to evict you. This document is called a Rule to Show Cause
- You can request a court hearing in response to your Rule to Show Cause eviction notice
- Your landlord cannot force you to leave by changing the locks or turning off the power
- You have 10 days to request a court hearing in response to your Rule to Show Cause
- You have the right to appeal your eviction in court
Renters and homeowners in South Carolina have other legal protections. That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who represents homeowners and renters in South Carolina to learn more about your legal rights and options.
How can a lawyer help?
Don’t underestimate the complexity of your legal case. Stopping an eviction from your apartment or home often requires a tremendous amount of work in a short period of time. Many eviction notices must be responded to in writing in a timely manner. The necessary paperwork also needs to be exactly right. Otherwise, a judge, the landlord’s attorney, or another interested party may challenge your request to remain in your home or apartment.
The dedicated attorneys at Benjamin R. Matthews and Associates, LLC have years of experience handling complex cases and routinely work with individuals in such situations. As a result, we have an in-depth understanding of the state and federal laws in South Carolina created to protect the rights of renters and homeowners.
Learn more about how we can help you with your legal matter. Simply contact us and schedule your free case evaluation. Our law firm has offices conveniently located in Columbia and Rock Hill, South Carolina.