A South Carolina lease agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and tenant that documents the agreed-upon terms and conditions for renting a property. It includes the names and contact information of the landlord and the tenant, the address of the premises, the lease term, payment details, safety disclosures, pet provisions, and other information.
Rent Control: No
Limit on Late Fees: No
Late Fees in Rental Agreement: No
Grace Period: Yes
License Required for Landlord: No
Required Lease Disclosures
- Lead-Based Paint Disclosure. Federal law (42 U.S. Code § 4852d) requires landlords to communicate if their property was built before 1978 and could possibly contain lead-based paint.
- Identification. 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 (SC Code § 27-40-420).
- Unequal Deposits. If a landlord owns more than four adjacent units and charges varying amounts for their security deposits, they must explain their reasonings within the lease agreements or post them in a visible manner (SC Code § 27-40-410).
- Notice of Abandoned Personal Property. If there is an unexplained absence of the tenant for more than fifteen (15) days after a default of rent payment, then there will be a presumed abandonment of the property. The landlord may then enter the premises and dispose of personal property with a total value of less than $500. A landlord should attempt to notify all tenants of the presumed abandonment of personal property before proceeding with the disposal (SC Code § 27-40-730).
- Security Deposit Notice. A tenant must provide in writing to the landlord the details of their new or forwarding address. Otherwise, they may forfeit their deposit (§ 27-40-410(a)).
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 (SC Code § 27-40-410).
Landlord Right of Entry
A landlord must give at least twenty-four hours’ advance notice to the tenant before entering the premises and must only enter at reasonable hours. Exceptions include emergencies, such as repairing a broken gas pipe or providing regularly scheduled periodic services or services requested by the tenant (SC Code § 27-40-530).
Small Claims Court
Going to small claims court can help a tenant recover an unreturned security deposit. Note that in South Carolina, the maximum amount that can be brought to small claims court is $7,500 (SC Code § 22-3-10).
Below, you can view our South Carolina lease agreement template and download it as a PDF or Word file to customize it to your situation: