South Carolina Lease Agreements (7) | Residential & Commercial

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Updated January 12, 2023

A South Carolina lease agreement is a legally binding contract allowing a tenant to live at a property in exchange for paying rent to the landlord. The agreement can be written for commercial and residential property to allow a tenant to occupy space and pay rent, usually on the first of the month. It is recommended that all tenants have their income and credit verified through a rental application.

Rental Application (Form 460) – Used by landlords to verify that a potential tenant is credible before authorizing a rental contract.

Table of Contents

Agreement Types (7)

Standard Residential Lease Agreement – The most common type of lease with a term of one year.

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Association of Realtors (Form 410) – This document is provided by the South Carolina Association of Realtors for standard tenancies between landlord and tenant.

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Commercial Lease Agreement (Form 400) – For tenancies that are work or business-related. Not for the use of livable space.

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Month-to-Month Lease Agreement (§ 27-40-770) – Known as a tenancy at will and renews every month with payment to the landlord. The term can be ended with at least 30 days’ notice from either party.

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Rent-to-Own Lease Agreement – Standard residential document with the added language that gives the tenant the right to buy the property.

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Room Rental (Roommate) Agreement – For persons living in a shared living situation.

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Sublease Agreement – Used to sublet, meaning that a person with a lease may rent their space during their own term. Most agreements require that the landlord consent to this type of tenancy.

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Required Disclosures (3)

Agent/Landlord Information (§ 27-40-420) – Any person allowed onto the property must be stated prior to or at lease signing along with the owner/manager’s name and address for legal notices.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – All residences that were constructed prior to 1978 are eligible to have lead paint in them, and therefore, the landlord must notify all new tenants.

Unequal Deposits (§ 27-40-410) – If the landlord owns more than four (4) adjoining dwelling units and imposes different security deposit amounts for different criteria of individuals, the rules for setting this amount must be listed in a conspicuous place by the landlord or listed in the rental contract.

Security Deposits

Maximum Amount – There is no maximum in South Carolina. The landlord may charge as much as desired.

Returning (§ 27-40-410) – Thirty (30) days from the termination date, and the premises have been returned to the landlord.

When is Rent Due? (Grace Period)

The tenant has five (5) days to pay rent before the landlord can begin eviction proceedings (5-day grace period) (§ 27-40-710(B)).

If the tenant does not pay the full rent amount within the grace period, the landlord can start the eviction process by sending a 5-day notice to quit.

Late Rent

Maximum Penalty – There is no maximum amount in South Carolina. Any late fees charged to the tenant should be mentioned in the lease.

NSF Fee (§ 34-11-70) – $30 is the maximum allowable charge for a bounced check written by the tenant.

Right to Enter (Landlord)

The landlord must give the tenant at least twenty-four (24) hours’ notice before entering the premises. The landlord must enter during the hours of 9 AM to 6 PM for periodic maintenance items (such as changing air conditioning filters, termite mitigation, etc.) and 8 AM to 8 PM for services requested by the tenant (§ 27-40-530).

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