South Carolina Rental Lease Agreement Templates
The South Carolina Rental Lease Agreements are contracts used for renting out property located in the state. Depending on the form chosen, landlords can lease their property on a monthly or yearly basis (or another term length, if desired). By recording their signatures, both the landlord and tenant(s) give their legal guarantee to follow all obligations contained in the form until its expiration. To avoid confusion, landlords should sit down with tenants and discuss every section of the lease. Although negotiation is more suited for commercial leases, landlords can agree to negotiate some provisions if it fits in with their bottom-line. By allowing negotiation (within reason), tenants can feel as though their voice is heard and be more likely to re-sign in the future.
Commercial Lease Agreement – Used for leasing property (buildings, rooms, floors, etc.) for a fixed period of time to a business-tenant.
Lease to Own Agreement – Serves two (2) purposes: 1) allows homeowners to lease their property for a set number of years, and 2) provides them with a means of setting a home purchase price that the tenant(s) renting the property can choose to act-on.
Month-to-Month (Residential) Rental Agreement – Spans a single month at a time, renewing automatically until either party terminates it. A notice of thirty (30) days is required prior to ending the agreement.
Download – Adobe PDF (.pdf)
Roommate Agreement – Used by roommates for setting a cooperative atmosphere by determining rules regarding guests, personal possessions, quiet hours, cleaning, dishes, and more.
Standard Residential Rental Agreement – The most basic lease used for establishing yearly leases. Complies with all rental laws dictated by South Carolina.
Sublease Agreement – Completed by tenants that need to vacate their rental, allowing them to legally introduce a secondary tenant to take over subsequent lease payments.
What is a South Carolina Lease Agreement?
A South Carolina Lease Agreement is a landlord-drafted form that contains the rules and obligations that the landlord and tenant(s) agree to follow until the end-date of the lease. Creating a lease comes directly after the landlord has screened and identified a viable tenant via the use of a rental application.
State Definition (§ 27-40-210(12)) – “means all agreements, written or oral, and valid rules and regulations adopted under Section 27-40-520 embodying the terms and conditions concerning the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit and premises.”
State Laws & Guides
Landlord-Tenant Guides / Handbooks
When is Rent Due?
According to § 27-40-310(c), tenants have to pay rent on the time and place as contained in the lease (typically in monthly installments at the beginning of each month). There is no grace period specified in the state’s landlord-tenant laws.
Emergency (§ 27-40-530(b)(1)): Landlords do not need a tenant’s consent prior to entering the rental unit at any time in emergency situations.
Non-Emergency (§ 27-40-530(c)): Landlords need to give tenants a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours prior to making entry, and can only enter at reasonable times.
Exception: Notice does not need to be provided for regularly scheduled services, such as those relating to the changing of air filters or treating pests, as long it has been clarified in the lease.
As outlined by § 27-40-440, landlords in South Carolina are obligated to comply with the following:
- Make any and all repairs to maintain that the rental is safe and fit for living;
- Maintain compliance with all building and housing codes (as applicable) that pertain to the healthy and safety of tenants;
- Ensure all appliances, plumbing, HVAC systems, and other utilities (as provided by the landlord) are in good working order;
- Provide tenants with constant running water and “reasonable” amounts of hot water, unless it is a public utility solely controlled by the tenants.
- Ensure all common areas around the rental premises are in a safe condition. In dwellings with four (4) or more units, landlords are also responsible for keeping common areas clean (in addition to safe).
Section 27-40-510 states the duties/obligations of tenants as follows:
- Keep their rental unit clean and safe as reasonable;
- Throw away trash in a safe and cleanly manner;
- Keep plumbing appliances and systems located in the rental unit as clean as reasonable;
- Refrain from negligently or purposefully destroying, defacing, removing, any part of the property (or permit a guest to do so);
- Comply with applicable building and housing codes (that relate to their health and safety);
- Use all electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, and other appliances and utilities in the manner in which they’re meant to be used;
- Act in a way that does not disturb other tenants; and
- Comply with both the lease and the rules/regulations that are enforceable per § 27-40-520.
- Lead Paint Disclosure: In order to comply with federal law, landlords must disclose to tenants if they know of any lead paint hazards present in a rental property built prior to 1978. Further to this, they must furnish the tenant with a copy of a government-issued brochure on the topic.
- Names and Addresses (§ 27-40-420): Before the start of the lease, the landlord must disclose (in writing), the names and addresses of the owner, or the person(s) authorized to act on the owner’s behalf.
- Unequal Security Deposits (§ 27-40-410(c)): If a landlord rents more than four (4) dwelling units in a single location, and uses different standards for calculating each tenant’s security deposits, the landlord must post a statement on the premises (or where the rent is paid) that indicates the rules used to make the calculations, or provide each prospective tenant with a statement setting forth the standards.
Maximum: No statute.
Returning to Tenant (§ 27-40-410(a)): Deposits must be returned within thirty (30) days after the termination of the lease. If the landlord intends to keep any portion of the deposit due to damages (or other costs), the landlord must provide the tenant(s) with an itemized list containing each deduction. The tenant must provide the landlord with a forwarding address or new address that the deposit should be sent.
Deposit Interest: No statute.
Uses of the Deposit (§ 27-40-410(a)): Deductions are permitted to cover:
- A tenant’s unpaid rent;
- Damages the landlord suffered due to the tenant(s) non-compliance with § 27-40-51.