Landlord Minimum Requirements Under the SC Landlord-Tenant Act
The South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Act requires residential landlords to comply with certain provisions with respect to tenants, regardless of what their rental agreements specify. In this blog, the legal team at Crawford & von Keller, LLC reviews the minimum requirements that apply to landlords under South Carolina law.
Comply With Relevant Building Codes
South Carolina landlords have an “implied warranty of habitability” under South Carolina Code § 27-40-440. Landlords must adhere to all state building and housing regulations that could “materially affect” the health and safety of their tenants. This includes things like providing functional sanitary facilities and ensuring that structures like staircases and protective railings are in safe condition.
Make Reasonable Repairs as Necessary
If any part of a rental unit is damaged or defective in a way that renders the unit uninhabitable, landlords are required to make and pay for repairs or “whatever is reasonably necessary” to restore the unit’s habitability. If a tenant or guest causes damage, the landlord can deduct repair costs from their security deposit.
When a landlord receives a written repair request from a tenant in South Carolina, they have 14 days to complete the repairs as needed unless “such remedy for a breach not affecting health and safety cannot be remedied within fourteen days, but is commenced within the fourteen-day period and is pursued in good faith to completion within a reasonable time.” Tenants must provide landlords access to their units to complete necessary repairs, but landlords must provide 24 hours’ notice, except during emergencies or scheduled visits.
South Carolina landlords should only enter occupied units between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for non-emergency maintenance purposes. For non-emergency repairs requested by tenants, landlords should only enter rental units between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Keep Common Areas in Safe Condition
Landlords must keep all common areas on their properties in reasonably safe condition for tenants. Landlords with properties that have four or more residential dwelling units must also keep common areas reasonably clean. Examples of common areas include lobbies, hallways, staircases, parking lots, laundry facilities, roofs, elevators, playgrounds, and shared restrooms.
Provide Running Water, Hot Water, and Heat
South Carolina landlords must ensure that running water and “reasonable amounts of hot water” are available to tenants at all times. Landlords must also provide tenants with “reasonable heat,” except in buildings not legally required to be equipped with heating systems and dwelling units where tenants have exclusive control over heat or hot water supplied by public utility connections.
Keep Facilities and Appliances in Good Working Order
Finally, landlords in South Carolina must keep the following facilities and appliances in “reasonably good and safe working order and condition”:
- Electrical wiring and outlets
- Gas lines used for utilities or cooking
- Plumbing and sanitation facilities
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment
- Other facilities and appliances that landlords are required to supply or are “necessary to the provision of essential services”
Landlords and tenants are permitted to agree in writing that tenants will perform these duties as necessary, as long as the agreement is made in good faith and not so the landlord can shirk their legal responsibilities.
Contact Our South Carolina Attorneys Today
If you have questions about your rights as a landlord in South Carolina, the attorneys of Crawford & von Keller, LLC, are here to help. We can provide straightforward answers and a legal review of your situation when you contact us at 803-790-2626 for a confidential consultation.