In South Carolina, renters have to be armed with cash to fight an eviction.
When tenants facing removal from their homes want to dispute the order, they're often required to come up with thousands of dollars in a matter of days before their case be heard in a higher court.
Ambiguities in the law make the issue particularly murky and lead to wide disparities in what tenants are required to pay. It could be as little as $0, or as much as all of the back rent a landlord says you owe, plus another three months' rent.
It's all up to the judges who handle these cases.
This week, we talked to reporter Thad Moore who recently read through court records from across the state to look for these types of cases. He found that, since the beginning of 2019, more than 120 tenants in South Carolina who were appealing their evictions had their cases thrown out because they couldn't come up with the money.
We asked him about how this policy compares to the way other states handle eviction appeals, why some housing attorneys say the practice is unfair and what our watchdog reporters are looking out for as evictions become a key indicator to watch during the coronavirus pandemic.
Listen now to find out.
Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that explains important issues in our state as well as the context that gives it meaning. Hosts Emily Williams and J. Emory Parker use the reporting resources and knowledge of the newspaper to help you better understand our state.
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