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:
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:___________________________________________________________
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:
- Fill out and attach this lead-based paint disclosure form to the lease agreement.
- Provide the tenant with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved pamphlet about the dangers of lead-based paint.
- Provide any additional records or reports about the presence or hazards of lead-based paint in the unit. For multi-unit buildings with common areas, this includes information from building-wide evaluations.
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.
|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.
|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.
|Informs tenants about actual or suspected mold contamination on the property, along with any remediation efforts, to help limit landlord liability.
|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.
|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.
|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.