South Carolina Residential
Lease Agreement for
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South Carolina Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In South Carolina, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by South Carolina landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a South Carolina lease agreement, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free South Carolina lease template for download!
A South Carolina rental lease agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to South Carolina’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every South Carolina lease agreement. Keep in mind that these components primarily apply to residential leases; a South Carolina commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In South Carolina, there are no statewide rent control laws. This means landlords can choose their own reasonable rates for rent based on the current market. However, be aware that individual cities or counties in South Carolina may pass their own laws regulating or restricting the price of rent, so be sure your rates are compliant with laws that apply in your region.
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. There are no statutory limits on late fees in South Carolina, nor is there a mandatory grace period. This means landlords in this state can once again choose their own fee amounts. Your late fee policy should be clearly explained in every South Carolina rental agreement so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late on rent.
This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.
There is no maximum or limit on security deposits in South Carolina. However, South Carolina law does require landlords to return security deposits to tenants (minus any deductions) within 30 days after the lease terminates (SC Stat. § 27-40-410). Every South Carolina lease agreement should include a detailed description of the landlord’s security deposit policy, including the amount, when/how it will be returned, and the conditions under which funds may be withheld from it.
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures in South Carolina, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in all South Carolina lease agreements before they agree to rent the property. In South Carolina, the required disclosures are:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
- Landlord-agent identification – Landlords in South Carolina must disclose in each rental agreement the name and address of the owner or manager responsible for receiving notices.
- Unequal security deposits – If a South Carolina landlord rents four or more adjoining units that have different security deposits, they must disclose their method of calculating those deposits to tenants.
Landlord Right to Entry
In South Carolina, there are specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. Landlords in this state must give at least 24 hours’ notice before entering an occupied property for a non-emergency reason (SC Stat. § 27-40-530(c)).
South Carolina also has laws about the times of day landlords can enter occupied. Entry without consent is permitted between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for regularly scheduled repairs or maintenance or between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for services requested by the tenant. However, the lease must include a provision for entry in these circumstances, and the landlord must announce their intent to do so (SC Stat. § 27-40-530(b)(1-2)).
Be sure to include the landlord’s right of entry in every South Carolina rental lease agreement.
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every South Carolina rental agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Every South Carolina rental agreement should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
A South Carolina residential lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in South Carolina, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A five-day notice to pay or quit for nonpayment, a 14-day notice to cure or quit for lease violations, or an immediate unconditional notice to quit for illegal activity. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a South Carolina sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
South Carolina Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable South Carolina lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of South Carolina state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of a South Carolina residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a South Carolina lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free South Carolina lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.