Landlord & Tenant Disputes

Disputes between residential landlords and tenants are very common.  Whether it is a dispute about a lease, the failure to pay rent, destruction of property, failure to make repairs, or an eviction, Mason Legal Services, LLC is here to help.  We represent both commercial and residential landlords and tenants by providing the following legal services:

  • Drafting, reviewing and negotiating lease agreements
  • Evictions
  • Wrongful evictions
  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Maintenance Issues
  • Property Damage
  • Security Deposit Issues
  • Holdover Tenants
  • Enforcement of the Lease
  • Section 8 Evictions
  • Mold


An eviction is a legal proceeding by which the landlord seeks to remove the tenant from the leased property. If you are a landlord, you should find out the legal grounds for evicting a tenant as well as the proper notification requirements. A landlord cannot evict a tenant without a court order. For a landlord to take legal action against a tenant, the landlord must first give written notice to the tenant in accordance with state and local law prior to evicting them.

It is illegal to lock a tenant out or turn off the utilities. If a landlord tries to evict a tenant illegally, the tenant may be able to recover damages and attorney’s fees. If you are served with eviction papers, consult a lawyer. If the tenant does not properly and timely respond, the magistrate will issue an eviction or ejectment order.

If no lease has been signed or if the lease has expired, the rental period is month to month.  At the conclusion of any monthly period, the landlord can change the terms of the prior lease, including the rental amount, or end the rental agreement by requiring the tenant to move out.

Failure To Make Repairs

The tenant must give the landlord written notice of any problems or need for repairs.  Generally, the landlord has 14 days to make the repairs.  If the landlord does not make the repairs in this timeframe, you may be able to terminate the agreement and move without paying additional rent. The tenant cannot make repairs himself and deduct that cost from rent. 

Security Deposit

A security deposit is money that the landlord holds in case there are damages or if rent is unpaid. The security deposit may not be withheld for normal wear and tear.  Before the tenant moves out, he should ask for a return of the security deposit and give the landlord his new address in writing. The landlord should return the deposit within 30 days or provide a written list explaining any amount withheld.

The South Carolina Residential Landlord Tenant Act protects both individuals who rent out their property and those that rent property.  Also under this act, both Landlords and Tenants have certain obligations and duties.  You can read the Act in its entirety here.

At Mason Legal Services, LLC, we will take the time to understand your landlord tenant dispute by listening carefully to your concerns. We will answer your questions, so you can understand your legal options and make an informed decision about how we can assist you.  Contact us today to arrange a consultation.

Source: South Carolina Bar: Tenants' Rights and the Law

Cynthia K. Mason assists clients throughout Richland County, Lexington County, Fairfield County, Greenville County, Newberry County, Calhoun County, Kershaw County, Aiken County and Sumter SC.

Hiring an attorney is an important decision which should not be based solely on advertising. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

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1777 Bull St., Columbia, SC 29201
| Phone: 803-834-4444

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