Summary of the South Carolina Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

The South Carolina Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is covered by Title 27, Chapter 40 of the state statutes.

Here is a brief summary of the key points that can be found within the sections of this chapter which covers many of the common questions that are asked about this Act.

1. Anything provided in a rental unit must be maintained.

Tenants have a duty to safely use a rental property and its fixtures and/or appliances.

Landlords have a duty to maintain these items. All appliances that came with a unit must be kept in a reasonably good and safe working order.

A lease can make certain exceptions to the landlord's duties in this area.

2. Landlords must give 24 hours of notice for inspections.

Unless there is an emergency repair or a court order which states otherwise, tenants have the right to privacy and landlords cannot interfere with the use of a rental unit.

For inspections, minor repairs, or to show the unit to a potential buyer or future renter, a minimum of 24 hours' notice must be given.

3. Tenants cannot be evicted if they are accused of a crime.

A landlord must be able to prove that a tenant has committed a crime in order to start the eviction process in South Carolina under this reasoning.

Tenants cannot use a rental unit for illegal purposes and are responsible for family or friends who may use it for illegal purposes.

4. This law applies to verbal rental agreements.

All rental agreements and residential leases are covered by the SC Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Some exceptions do apply for motels/hotels, tenants who partially own a property, and for employees who get housing in return for their work.

5. Landlords have 30 days to return a security deposit.

South Carolina also requires tenants to ask for their security deposit back.

The law dictates that landlords are kept to the later of these two dates.

If a tenant takes 6 months to ask for their deposit, then the landlord has 6 months to return it and/or an itemized list of claims.

This summary of South Carolina's Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is not intended to serve as a substitute for legal advice.

It is simply a summary of the existing sections of the law. Review these laws yourself and seek legal assistance as needed to successfully resolve whatever situation you may be facing.

Posted on Apr 19, 2016


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