12 On Your Side: Tenant evicted from foreclosed rental

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- A tenant learned she is living in a foreclosed home only after getting an eviction notice.

It's a small apartment, but it's still home sweet home for Andrea Smith and her three children.

"At the time, I didn't make much money and I had to move, so I moved here," Smith said.

Smith and her children lived in the small house in Aiken County for more than a year and a half. A few weeks ago, deputies knocked on her door.

"It was crazy. It was real crazy. I'm like, 'Eviction? What's going on? I haven't done anything wrong,'" she said.

According to the paperwork posted on her door, her landlord went into foreclosure.

"Apparently, my landlords weren't paying the mortgage on it," Smith said.

Smith had no clue the bank foreclosed on the property.

"Originally they gave me 10 days here," she said.

Attorney Ed Enoch says there is a law that protects tenants in foreclosures.

"If you have a lease as a tenant, they can't kick you out on a foreclosure unless the person that is foreclosing is going to live there," he said.

If you don't have a lease or it has expired, then the bank must give a tenant 90 days to vacate.

"She first thing is have a written lease," Enoch said.

Smith is grateful to know she has a longer than 10 days to move out, but the sudden move is still taking a toll on her. She says Christmas will be slimmer this year.

"I do feel bad; some of stuff I may have gotten them I won't be able to," she said.

To check to see if a rental is in foreclosure, you can check public records in South Carolina. In Georgia, the local newspaper must post the legal ad for two weeks.

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