South Carolina Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: July 14, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

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’s landlord-tenant law, the contract includes terms and conditions outlining the responsibilities of each party.

South Carolina Lease Agreement Disclosures

The below disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in South Carolina.

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord’s Name/Address All Units
Security Deposit Inequality  4 or More Adjoining Units
Lead Paint All Units Prior to 1978
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Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in South Carolina.

Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease. This information should be provided to the tenant at or before the commencement of the tenancy.

Security Deposit Inequality Disclosure

Applicable to properties with four adjoining rental units with two or more different security deposit amounts in South Carolina.

If a landlord leases four 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:___________________________________________________________

Download: South Carolina Security Deposit Inequality Disclosure Form (PDF)

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:

Download: South Carolina Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)

The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by South Carolina law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

Optional Disclosure How the Disclosure is Helpful
Asbestos This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.
Landlord’s Name & Address Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.
Late/Returned Check Fees Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In South Carolina there are no restrictions on late fees and a $30 limit on bounced checks.
Medical Marijuana Use Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.
Mold Disclosure Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.
Move-in Checklist A move-in checklist holds the tenant accountable for future damages that they may cause.
Non-Refundable Fees A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.
Shared Utilities Arrangements For rental units with shared utilities, a landlord should disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated. Providing this information to tenants will give them a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
Smoking Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.

If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)

It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.

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