A summary of South Carolina Landlord Tenant Laws based on state law statutes as they apply to residential lease agreements executed between landlords and tenants.
Required Disclosures (by Landlords)
Contact Information: Landlord must disclose to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy the name and address of the person authorized to manage the premises, and an owner of the premises or a person authorized to act for and on behalf of the owner for the purpose of service of process and for the purpose of receiving notices and demands. (S.C. Code Ann. §27-40-420)
Different Security Deposit Standards: If landlord rents five or more adjoining units on the premises, and imposes different standards for calculating deposits required of tenants, landlord must, before a tenancy begins, post in a conspicuous place a statement explaining the standards by which the various deposits are calculated (or, landlord may give the tenant the written statement). (S.C. Code Ann. §27-40-410)
Security Deposit Limit
There’s no state limit on security deposits in South Carolina.
Deadline for Returning Security Deposit
The landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit after the tenant has moved out.
Small Claims Lawsuits
Magistrates Court will hear any case (including landlord-tenant matters up to $7,500).
South Carolina has no state legislation covering the use of late fees. So the only way to enforce one is by having it incorporating it into a lease agreement.
South Carolina also does not have a state statute addressing on the amount of notice required to increase rent. As a general rule, month-to-month agreements would have a 30 day notice for any changes and tenancies of a longer duration would go by whatever is mentioned in the lease. The rent may not change unless both parties have agreed in writing.
Tenant’s Right to Withhold Rent
For rent withholding, see South Carolina Code Ann. § 27-40-640. To repair and deduct from the rent payment, see South Carolina Code Ann. § 27-40-630.
Termination and Eviction
S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-710 allows a landlord to immediately serve an unconditional quit notice for nonpayment of rent after a previous notification was issued during the tenancy or for allowing illegal activities on the property.
All other lease violations require a 14 day notice to cure or quit (S.C. Code Ann. § 27-40-710(A)).
Access to Property
A 24 hour notice must be given prior to entry.
S.C. Code Ann. § 20-4¬60 (c)(3) empowers a court to grant temporary possession to the petitioner of a residence, even if the respondent is the sole owner or lessee, if the respondent has a legal duty to support to petitioner or minor children living in the household.
South Carolina Lease Agreement
South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Law Statutes
South Carolina Code Ann. §§ 27-40-10 to 27-40-940.