The South Carolina rental agreements are documents created when a tenant wishes to use a real property that a landlord is overseeing. These contracts create a relationship where the tenant makes regular rent payments and agrees to follow certain terms, which are governed by South Carolina’s landlord-tenant laws.
South Carolina Rental Agreement Types
South Carolina Required Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name & Address (required for all) – To ensure channels exist for serving legal notices, the name and address of the landlord or agent authorized to act on behalf of the rental property must be provided in a South Carolina lease agreement.
- Security Deposit Inequality Disclosure (required for some) – If there are 4 or more adjoined rental units in the same building with 2 or more security deposit requirements, the method for calculating the security charges must be provided in the South Carolina lease agreement to ensure that there each tenant is charged fairly.
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – All pre-1978 properties in South Carolina with a unit for rent must include a lead-based paint disclosure and EPA-approved pamphlet with notice of any existing lead-based paint hazards.
To learn more about required disclosures in South Carolina, click here.
South Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – South Carolina landlords must provide the following basic amenities to tenants: hot/cold running water, HVAC, plumbing, and more. If these are in repair, they must be repaired by the landlord within 14 days. Tenants may not withhold rent or use the repair and deduct method (unless it’s an essential service).
- Evictions – South Carolina landlords may evict tenants for a number of reasons including, but not limited to failure to pay rent, a violation of a leasing term, or committing an illegal act. Landlords must provide tenants with prior notice to quit, the notice period depends on the type of eviction. In most cases, evictions here take 2 weeks, if not a month in total.
- Security Deposits – South Carolina does not maintain a limit on how much a landlord can charge for a security deposit. Despite this, they do require all collected deposits to be returned within 30 days of a tenancy’s expiration.
- Lease Termination – Month-to-month leases in South Carolina can be broken only after a tenant provides 30 days of notice. As for a fixed-term lease, a landlord may approve an early termination if the tenant supplies proof of landlord harassment, domestic violence, active military duty, or unit uninhabitability.
- Rent Increases & Fees – South Carolina landlords can increase rent rates at their discretion without providing notice or justification. There are also no limits on late fees; however, bounced check fees are limited to $30 in value per instance.
- Landlord Entry – In most circumstances, a South Carolina landlord must provide notice of their intended entry at least 24 hours in advance of its occurrence. This does not include emergency situations or if the landlord is performing regularly scheduled, and previously agreed to, maintenance.
- Settling Legal Disputes – The South Carolina small claims court can settle disputes valued at up to $7,500. This includes eviction cases. Also, all accepted cases must fall within the statewide 3 year statute of limitations.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in South Carolina, click here.