The South Carolina residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is used to formalize an agreement between a landlord and tenant to rent real property in exchange for a fee. Governed by South Carolina landlord-tenant law, the contract includes terms and conditions outlining the responsibilities of each party.
South Carolina Lease Disclosures & Addendums
The following disclosures or addendums are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in South Carolina.
- Landlord’s Name & Address – for all rental units in South Carolina.
- Security Deposit Inequality Disclosure – for properties with 4 adjoining rental units charging different security deposits.
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1978.
There are also a number of optional disclosures and addendums that help reduce future conflicts and/or legal liability in South Carolina.
Landlord’s Name & Address
Applicable to all rental units in South Carolina.
So that future legal notices and demands sent by the tenant can be properly delivered to the landlord, the name and address of either the landlord or the person authorized to act on the landlord’s behalf must be disclosed up-front (commonly done so in the lease agreement) .
Security Deposit Inequality Disclosure
Applicable to properties with 4 adjoining rental units with 2 or more different security deposit amounts.
If a landlord leases out 4 or more adjoined units in the same building, the security deposits must either be the same amount or there must be a disclosure in a conspicuous place on the property that provides the method for calculating security deposit charges . This can also be provided directly to a prospective tenant in the lease agreement in addition to the notice.
SECURITY DEPOSIT CALCULATION. This property uses the following method of calculating security deposits due:
[ ] Home Square Footage
[ ] Number of Tenants
[ ] Other:___________________________________________________________
Lead Based Paint Disclosure
Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.
It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints. This law requires landlords in South Carolina to:
- Fill out and attach this lead based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an EPA-approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of any known lead based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)
The following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by South Carolina law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.
- Medical Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where medical marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. South Carolina law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
- Move-in Checklist – it is recommended to provide an itemized list of damages to the property before move-in to make sure tenants are responsible for any serious damages that occur during the lease term. This can be attached to the lease agreement or signed as a separate document.
- Late and Returned Check Fees – it is recommended that landlords disclose in the lease any late fees or returned (bounced) check fees that they intend to charge. South Carolina does not limit how high these fees can be, but they should be considered reasonable (often no more than 10% of rent) and reflect the actual expenses incurred by the landlord as a result of a late payment. They must also be charged only after the agreed upon due date for rent, dictated in the lease.
- Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
- Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to establish an understanding of the current status of bed bugs at the property in case of a future infestation and to provide information on the protocol for handling one.
- Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units in buildings built prior to 1981 (which are considered at-risk for asbestos), it is recommended to establish an understanding of any prior knowledge on the existence of asbestos on the property.
- Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to tenant negligence during the lease term.