South Carolina Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 15, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

A South Carolina residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a legal contract between a landlord overseeing a residential property and a tenant who wishes to rent it. A residential lease may, on or before move-in, additionally require a security deposit from the tenant as assurance against future property damage.

South Carolina Residential Lease Agreement Disclosures

These disclosures are required for some or all residential lease agreements in South Carolina:

Disclosure Applicable To
Landlord’s Name and Address All Units
Security Deposit Inequality  Properties of At Least 4 Adjoining Units, Collecting Different Deposit Amounts
Lead Paint All Units Built Before 1978

Landlord’s Name and Address

Applicable to all South Carolina rentals.

South Carolina leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice. This contact information is most often written in the lease agreement, for maximum convenience. The landlord has an obligation to notify the tenant in the event of a change in contact information.

Security Deposit Inequality Disclosure

Applicable to South Carolina properties with four or more adjoining rental units, which are not all collecting the same deposit amount.

South Carolina landlords leasing four or more adjoined units in the same building must collect the same amount of security deposit for each by default. If a landlord wishes to collect differing deposit amounts, the method for calculating the deposit must be disclosed in a conspicuous place on the property, or prominently in the lease agreement.

This is an example of a security deposit inequality disclosure:

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 South Carolina rentals built before 1978.

For any property built before 1978, federal law requires that a South Carolina residential lease must contain a lead-based paint disclosure. This requires landlords to do the following:

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

Optional Disclosures and Addenda (Recommended)

The following lease agreement disclosures and addenda are not required by South Carolina law in residential lease agreements, but assist with tenant management and help limit landlord liability.

Optional Disclosure Purpose
Asbestos Informs tenants about any asbestos hazards related to the property. Tenants can take precautions to reduce asbestos hazards by avoiding any disturbance of asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs Informs tenants whether the property or an adjacent unit has a history of suspected bed bug infestation, and reminds the tenant of the obligation to report suspected infestation immediately.
Landlord’s Name and Address Specifies the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent. This enables smooth communication of any important legal notice.
Late/Returned Check Fees Specifies late fees or returned check fees related to the lease. South Carolina does not regulate late fees, but caps returned check fees at $30.
Medical Marijuana Use Informs tenants about policy related to medical marijuana use on the rental property. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only, or allow use only in designated smoking areas.
Mold Disclosure Informs tenants about actual or suspected mold contamination on the property, along with any remediation efforts, to help limit landlord liability.
Move-In Checklist Takes inventory of existing property damage, when the tenant takes possession of the rental property. This enables accurate deductions from the security deposit upon move-out.
Non-Refundable Fees Charges not agreed by the tenant in the lease may be refundable upon lease termination. For South Carolina landlords to charge a non-refundable fee, it must be disclosed and agreed as such in the lease.
Shared Utilities Arrangements Discloses how charges are billed to individual tenants, when multiple rental units share a utility meter for the whole building or property. This ensures tenants receive fair charges and understand what uses contribute to their bill.
Smoking Informs tenants of designated smoking areas that do not interfere with the quiet enjoyment of other tenants.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Mandatory disclosures outline important health, safety, and property information for both landlord and tenant safety. A landlord who fails to provide federally or state-mandated disclosures could face legal consequences or monetary penalties, either from a tenant lawsuit or from state officials.

Failure to comply with the federal lead-based paint hazard disclosure risks fines of tens of thousands of dollars per violation.