A lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and tenant that documents the agreed-upon terms and conditions for renting a property.
What is a Residential Lease Agreement?
Lease agreements are documents landlords provide to tenants to outline and confirm specific details of a rental contract. The property owner and tenant must sign the lease agreement to be enforceable.
Federal and state law require the inclusion of certain information in all Rental/Lease Agreements for a residential property including:
- The names and contact information of the landlord and tenant (you should have the tenant’s information from your Rental Application)
- The address of the premises
- Pet provisions (allowances and prohibitions)
- Disclosures and information on lead-based paint hazards, mold, and other safety hazards
- Security deposit specifics
- Lease term (i.e., 6 months or one year)
- Rent details – the amount, when and how to pay rent, and any late fees and grace periods
Not all states have identical leasing and rental requirements and may differ on some important issues.
As long as a state meets the Federal statutory minimum, they are free to differ on certain rental contract requirements. You should familiarize yourself with South Carolina’s specific laws and requirements to protect your legal and financial rights.
South Carolina Residential Lease Agreement Example
The sample lease agreement below describes a contract between “Landlord” Andy Cohn and “Tenant” Tim Kurtis. The tenant agrees to rent a house in Charleston for $1,500 monthly. The tenant agrees to pay for all utilities and services for the Premises.
This is a good example of what provisions a simple lease agreement for South Carolina rental property might contain and how one should look in its final form.
South Carolina Rental Lease Agreement Template (PDF & Word)
The South Carolina Residential Lease Agreement Template below defines all necessary lease agreement terms.
South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Laws
South Carolina state law imposes specific and distinct requirements for landlords and tenants when executing a Lease or Rental Agreement.
South Carolina statutes, Title 27, Chapter 40 of the South Carolina Code of Laws (Residential Landlord and Tenant Act), provide for the following:
- There is no limit on the amount of security deposit a landlord may request from a tenant. (No statute)
- A landlord must return the security deposit to the tenant within 30 days after the end of the lease along with a written statement itemizing any deductions taken for accrued rent and/or damages. (S.C. Code § 27-40-410)
Landlord Right of Entry:
- A landlord must give at least twenty-four (24) hours advance notice to the tenant before entering the premises and must only enter at reasonable hours (exceptions are emergencies, such as repairing a broken gas pipe and providing regularly scheduled periodic services or services requested by tenant). (S.C. Code § 27-40-530)
Additionally, South Carolina law requires:
- A landlord is required to comply with applicable building and housing codes regarding health and safety, make repairs to keep premises habitable, keep common areas safe and clean, supply running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat at all hours, and maintain in good and safe working condition all electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances. (S.C. Code § 27-40-440)
- A landlord must disclose in writing to the tenant before the lease begins the name and contact details of the property owner or agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner. (S.C. Code § 27-40-420)
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Housing built before 1978 may contain lead-based paint, which can pose health hazards if not managed properly. Landlords must provide tenants with a copy of a lead-based paint disclosure along with a copy of the lease agreement. (Title 42 U.S. Code § 4852(d))
How to Write a Rental Agreement in South Carolina
Follow the steps below to write rental agreements in South Carolina.
Step 1 – Fill Out Date of Agreement
Write the date of the Lease/Rental Agreement.
Step 2 – Enter Parties’ Information
Provide the name and address of the parties signing the agreement. First is the landlord or management company and their current address. Then write in all tenants and their current addresses.
Step 3 – Describe Property
Describe the type of rental property such as an apartment or house and provide the full street address of the rental property.
Step 4 – Enter Term of Lease
Write the term (length) of the lease in months and enter the beginning and end dates of the lease. If the lease is month-to-month, provide the start date of the lease.
Step 5 – Enter Rent Details
Provide the monthly rental amount, the date the rent is due each month and the acceptable payment method(s). Any late fees or grace periods for late payment of rent can be added.
Step 6 – Enter Security Deposit Amount
Write the amount of the security deposit the landlord will collect from the tenant, typically done at the beginning of the lease.
Step 7 – Additional Provisions
Provide additional and optional provisions such as the use of a guarantor, payment of utilities, maintenance and repairs, alterations, or allowance or prohibition of pets, smoking, or sublease.
Step 8 – Signatures
The landlord and tenant(s) will sign and date the lease agreement.
South Carolina Lease Agreement Sample
Below is an example of what a South Carolina lease agreement looks like. Use this free form or customize a rental contract using our document builder.