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South Carolina Code 27-40-440. Landlord to maintain premises

(a) A landlord shall:

(1) comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

(2) make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition;

(3) keep all common areas of the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and, for premises containing more than four dwelling units, keep in a reasonably clean condition;

(4) make available running water and reasonable amounts of hot water at all times and reasonable heat except where the building that includes the dwelling unit is not required by law to be equipped for that purpose, or the dwelling unit is so constructed that heat or hot water is generated by an installation within the exclusive control of the tenant and supplied by a direct public utility connection;

(5) maintain in reasonably good and safe working order and condition all electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him. Appliances present in the dwelling unit are presumed to be supplied by the landlord unless specifically excluded by the rental agreement. No appliances or facilities necessary to the provision of essential services may be excluded.

(b) If the duty imposed by paragraph (1) of subsection (a) is greater than any duty imposed by any other paragraph of that subsection, the landlord's duty must be determined by reference to paragraph (1) of subsection (a).

(c) The landlord and tenant of a single family residence may agree in writing that the tenant perform the landlord's duties specified in paragraph (5) of subsection (a) and also specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, and remodeling, but only if the transaction is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord.

(d) The landlord and tenant of any dwelling unit other than a single family residence may agree that the tenant is to perform specified repairs, maintenance tasks, alterations, or remodeling only if:

(1) the agreement of the parties is entered into in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord;

(2) the work is not necessary to cure noncompliance with subsection (a)(1) of this section;

(3) the agreement does not diminish or affect the obligations of the landlord to other tenants in the premises.

Legislative history
1986 Act No. 336, Section 1.
Comments (7)add comment
Peg: ...
In South Carolina -- if the residence is infestited with roaches and spraying and the exterminator cannot rectify the problem. What rights as a tenant do I have to not pay the rent. I have plenty of pics and notified the landlord in April and still no resolution. I have faithfully paid my rent every month during this time but now I have had enough and looking to move out. Is this considered a valid reason to withhold rent -- your legal advice is greatly appreciated.

October 09, 2012
Steven Daily: ...

A tenant can withhold rent if it is the landlord's fault that an apartment is infested. Landlords often argue, hoever, that the infestation is because of a tenant's failure to keep the apartment clean. So be prepared for that. Be sure to read section 27-40-640 of the South Carolina Code carefully and particularly subsection (b)(1):


Steve Daily

October 09, 2012
Carole: ...
We are currently renting in South Carolina and I have emailed our landlord 4 times in regards to our furnace running constantly and being quite noisey. We have yet to hear back from him. Our electric bill is higher than it ever has been. What rights do we have to either not pay rent or take out of rent the higher portion of the electric bill? It is quite apparent that the furnace problem has caused our electric bill to go up. Any legal advice would be appreciated. Thanks

February 23, 2013
Sherrie: ...
I am renting a house with a basement. Every time it rains, the basement floods. This appears to have been a prolonged and ongoing issue with this house since there has been a "drainage ditch" cut into the middle of the backyard and around the sides of the house. The backyard stays soggy at all times making it almost impossible to mow the grass with a mower. The yard is also full of holes that I'm afraid someone walking on the property may step into and fall. I have notified the Rental Agency about the drainage issue and they told me that "all property is not level." I have lived there for 5 months and am tired of all the issues. This property is located inside City Limits. Is there something that I can do? The basement always smells bad, very musty and both my daughter and I have asthma and my daughter has had allergy issues ever since moving in.

May 06, 2013
Sherrie: ...
I am also located in South Carolina - inside Greenwood City Limits

May 06, 2013
Susan C: ...
I rented my house with an acre lot to a preacher in Honea Path SC. The house was immaculate when they moved in. The grounds were also immaculate, as the committee from the church can attest to the day they reviewed the home to decide if they would chose my home for their new pastor. They did rent from me and the lease was up a few weeks ago and I went to walk through the house and yard. The house was nasty...pet hair everywhere and overall filth. Nothing was damaged as far as structurally, but there were 2 large stains int he carpet that were not there before. The yard was a mess...I dont think anything had been done to a once pristine garden landmark in the town. Vines were growing all over the house, covering the kitchen window, another having completely choked teh life out of a willow tree. Not only were weeds all in the beds, but trees were growing...and bushes were pathetically overgrown and saggin on the ground. THe lease clearly states..."House/lot" and the address given. The committee even asked me teh name of the person I used for yard work. They are demanding their deposit back in full, as well as stating that the house is in "better shape than when they rented". This is not true. I have gotten bids and estimates from cleaning crews..household, carpet and yard..to get the house back to where it was before they moved in. The estimates FAR exceed the amount of the deposit. I have pictures before and after. THe difference is mind boggling. I am composing a letter with the before and after pictures, as well as detailing what all I will have to do to get it back to pre-rented status....and inform them that no deposit will be returned. THere is even an actual an overage of approximatly $300. These people were late with their rent 3 times...2 of which were over 10 days late, causing me to incur an overdraft fee in my bank account and I never said anything. Am I in line with my plan about not returning the deposit? Thanks

June 12, 2013
marv: ...
Apartment ac went out 3 days ago. called work order in leaving work #. maintenance determined i would need temporary window unit; didin't install citing tv in the way. It has been 2 days of trips to rent office complaining about lack of emergency on call service. told someone will be there shortly. My belief is the entire system need replacing. my concerns are how long will the window unit when eventually they will install and that will alter my energy bills, Can i legally withold rent to force landlord to make repairs? Point me in the right direction

August 24, 2013

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