South Carolina Landlord Tenant Rights

Renting a home is an exciting and potentially stressful time for both landlords and tenants. Know your rights and responsibilities ahead of time with our quick South Carolina Landlord Tenant Rights fact sheet.

Landlord Responsibilities

Under South Carolina law, landlords owe certain responsibilities to tenants. These include the duty to address or maintain:

  • Structural components
  • Water
  • Electricity and wiring
  • Plumbing and sanitation
  • Gas fixtures
  • Ventilation
  • HVAC
  • Bedbugs

Landlords are prohibited from engaging in retaliatory conduct. Tenants have the right to repair or address any of the above and deduct the cost from any rent due.

Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants also have responsibilities to landlords. These include the following duties:

  • Pay rent in a timely manner
  • Keep the unit in safe and habitable state
  • Keep the unit clean and sanitary, and remove any garbage
  • Maintain dwelling and fixtures
  • Keep plumbing fixtures clean
  • Safely use appliances and facilities
  • Allow the landlord to enter the premises for repairs and maintenance
  • Refrain from disturbing other tenants and neighbors

Security Deposit

South Carolina law does not address a maximum allowable security deposit. The landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit minus any deductions for damages after the premises has been vacated or else they may be held liable for three times the amount of the original deposit.

Rent and Fees

Landlords can charge any amount they wish for rent and can raise the rent whenever they like without notice to their tenants.

Evictions

Landlords can only evict tenants under certain circumstances. These include:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Violation of lease terms
  • No lease or end of lease
  • Illegal acts

Lease Termination Notice

In some instances, landlords are required to give tenants notice when their lease is being terminated. If the lease is for a fixed term, no notice is necessary. If the lease is week-to-week, the tenant must be given a 7-day notice. If the lease is month-to-month, the tenant must be given a 30-day notice. State law does not address what notice should be given for quarter-to-quarter or year-to-year leases.

Tenants can legally end their leases early in the following circumstances:

  • If the tenancy agreement has an early termination clause
  • If the unit is uninhabitable
  • Landlord harassment
  • If the landlord has violated lease terms

Relevant State Agencies

South Carolina Department of Housing and Urban Development

City-Specific Links

Charleston:

Water

Electric

Gas

Columbia:

Water

Electric

Gas

North Charleston:

Water

Electric

Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

South Carolina Residential Landlord Tenant Act