How to Report a Landlord in South Carolina for Unsafe Living Conditions
June 30, 2023
When a renter in South Carolina can’t obtain necessary repairs, before beginning a court case it’s usually possible to file a report with the proper government departments about the unsafe conditions on the property. Code inspectors have the power to order repairs or fine noncompliant landlords.
What Are Considered Unsafe Living Conditions in South Carolina?
In South Carolina, unsafe living conditions exist when a rental property doesn’t have safe and working:
Required smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.
Features that affect health, safety, or habitability.
After receiving a complaint, an inspecting officer might contact the tenant for more information. Then the officer will usually inspect the property and cite the landlord for any code violations.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Greenville?
A tenant in Greenville can report a health or safety violation by calling Code Enforcement at (864) 467-7090. The department has a strict process for enforcement and provides aPDF documentwith full details. In particular, the department will not consider complaints that lack certified proof of failure to repair.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Columbia?
A tenant in Columbia can report a health or safety violation by calling the Code Enforcement Division at (803) 545-3430 or viaemail. Be ready to provide a location, a detailed description of the issue (including supplemental documentation like pictures, if available), and contact information.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Charleston?
A tenant in Charleston can report a health or safety violation by calling Code Enforcement at (843) 805-3226 or using the providedonline form. Provide a contact email address, select a location, describe the issue, attach supplemental documentation (if available) and submit.
What Could Happen to a Landlord After a Complaint Is Made in South Carolina?
After a tenant files a complaint about unsafe living conditions in South Carolina, an officer may inspect the property. The landlord must fix noted code violations. Otherwise, the landlord could be fined and the local government might file to condemn the property.
“A landlord shall: (1) comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety; (2) make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition; (3) keep all common areas of the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and, for premises containing more than four dwelling units, keep in a reasonably clean condition; (4) make available running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection.”
“A landlord shall maintain in reasonably good and safe working order and condition all electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him. Appliances present in the dwelling unit are presumed to be supplied by the landlord unless specifically excluded by the rental agreement. No appliances or facilities necessary to the provision of essential services may be excluded.”
“One-family and two-family dwellings, including manufactured housing, must be equipped with approved and properly functioning smoke detectors installed in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 72E, 1990 Edition, and with NFPA Standard 74, 1989 Edition; provided, however, that the various requirements of this article apply only to dwellings and housing which are rental dwellings and housing.”
“Carbon monoxide detection shall be installed in new buildings in accordance with Sections 915.1.1 through 915.6. Carbon monoxide detection shall be installed in existing buildings in accordance with Section 1103.9.”
“Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with Section 27-40-440 materially affecting health and safety or the physical condition of the property, the tenant may deliver a written notice to the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than fourteen days after receipt of the notice if the breach is not remedied within fourteen days. The rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice except [as provided below].”