Can you evict on a land contract in South Carolina?

18 Replies

well I think most land contracts are universal through out the US.. its a two stage process.

One default of the land contract.. then an eviction as the owner of the land contract is now a tenant at sufferance.

Now I could be wrong but that would be my guess.. get the land contract foreclosed  then file for eviction.

@Jay Hinrichs I came across this on a web page. Not sure if I totally understand it, or how accurate it is. Default South Carolina offers fewer formal protections to buyers under land contracts than the laws of many other states. It allows land contracts to contain forfeiture provisions that entitle the seller to seize the property without foreclosing or paying compensation if the buyer defaults at any time during the installment payment period. This means that the buyer has no equity in the home until he takes legal title. Buyers and sellers are free to negotiate a more equitable arrangement in the land contract. Equitable Relief Because of the harsh consequences of forfeiture, a buyer who forfeits all payments in a land contract can appeal to a court of equity for relief. Although no statutory protections exist to help buyers who forfeit, the 2002 South Carolina case of Lewis v. Premium Inv. Corp. established that a South Carolina court has the right to force the seller to foreclose, sell the property at a judicial sale and return proceeds in excess of the buyer's outstanding debt to the buyer, thereby preserving buyer equity. It also established that a court may allow the buyer a second chance to own the property if he pays the new owner the amount of his outstanding debt within a certain redemption period set by the court. These remedies are granted by courts only if the facts of the case indicate that injustice would otherwise result.

YUP two separate actions one nullifying the land contract.. but the people still reside there now you have to evict.

no different than any other foreclosure by a bank.. bank forecloses.. people wont move .. bank files for an eviction.

YOU can check with a SC attorney.. I am giving general advice.. but I think a land contract and the resident has rights. as stated above in your post.

they are not tenants.. that you just evict when they miss a payment. 

You foreclose out their position when they miss a payment.. but they still have possession.. until such time as you have legal ownership back and then can evict them..  that's my thoughts anyway. I could be wrong but that is generally how I would see it on most all land contract type situations. 

I work with John Florence in Charleston you could contact him.. and tell him I referred you.

Originally posted by @Chris DeSisto :
@Jay Hinrichs

Ok, maybe I can get in touch with an attorney here and see if i can get clarification if it's different here or not. Thanks!

PS seen Bigfoot yet?

 Too funny  since I grew up selling timber and Ranch land in northern CA  and was a logger for a decade in Oregon. I have spent many a day in the deep woods.. Never did run into big foot..   Pot growers..  Bald Face Hornets..  yellow jackets.. Bears.. Occasional  wacka do living off the land.. that's about it.. 

My land contract has a provision that says if they miss 2 payments the contract is void and any money received is treated as rent.

You have to send them a 30 day notice I believe stating that you are cancelling the contract due to breach of contract. Then see I'd you can just do cash for keys to get them to leave and sign a Quit Claim deed to 100% cover you.

Not sure how this would fair in court since a Magistrate could say they have equity and kick the case up to a higher court for a foreclosure. I'd try and just avoid this scenario by making them realize they didn't live up to the contract and offer them a little money to help them move.

If you can't handle this with cash for keys then I would consult an attorney before filing an eviction and get their take on this.

@Chris DeSisto Is your lease a separate document from your option? Having them separate will help you evict if the option does not come up. If the Magistrate is informed about the option he/she will likely not allow an eviction and force you to foreclose. They will likely see the option money paid as Equity in the property.

It only costs $40 to file an eviction in SC. A foreclosure will likely cost $4000 to $5000.

If you can mutually agree on a way the tenant/buyer leaves without going to court it should be cheaper and quicker for you even if you need to pay them some to agree to this.

@Chris DeSisto It will depend on the Magistrate. They may see One dollar paid as option money to be equity in the property. So if you make an arrangement instead of going to court you will take control of the situation instead of rolling the dice.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :

@Chris DeSisto It will depend on the Magistrate. They may see One dollar paid as option money to be equity in the property. So if you make an arrangement instead of going to court you will take control of the situation instead of rolling the dice.

in Oregon I know that on a land contract you have to do whats called a STRICT foreclosure its a full blown foreclosure.. I just bought a property here in Lake Oswego a few years ago that was just that.. the beneficiary was foreclosing.. I was able to give cash for keys and then pay the bene off.. he was an attorney so it was a little easier dealing with him.. the owner or people losing it were full blown tweakers and hoarders extreme.. I took 250k pounds of crap to the dump and demo's the house.. they had all that sitting on 600k lot LOL

I am now building two 1.2 million dollar homes on their junk pile.. 

From my experience Judges normally want to give these folks their due process of law.. this is not evictions .. from what I see.. But every state is different.. Like I think Texas they don't even allow lease options for more than 6 months.. because of the predatory nature of those putting non English speakers into deals then booting them out.