(A) Nothing in § 31-21-40 or 31-21-60 applies to rooms or units in dwellings containing living quarters occupied or intended to be occupied by no more than four families living independently of each other, if the owner actually maintains and occupies one of the living quarters as his residence.

(B) Nothing in § 31-21-40 or 31-21-60 applies to any single-family house sold or rented by an owner when:

Terms Used In South Carolina Code 31-21-70

  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC

(1) the private individual owner does not own more than three single-family houses at any one time; and

(2) in the sale of any single-family house by a private individual owner not residing in the house at the time of the sale or who was not the most recent resident of the house before the sale, the exemption granted by this subsection applies only with respect to one sale within a twenty-four month period; and

(3) a bona fide private individual owner does not own an interest in, nor is there owned or reserved on his behalf, under any express or voluntary agreement, title to or a right to all or a portion of the proceeds from the sale or rental of more than three single-family houses at any one time.

After the effective date of this chapter, the sale or rental of a single-family house is excepted from the application of this subsection only if the house is sold or rented:

(a) without the use in any manner of the sales or rental facilities or the sales or rental services of a real estate broker, agent, or salesman, or of the facilities or services of a person in the business of selling or renting dwellings, or of an employee or agent of a broker, agent, salesman, or person; and

(b) without publication posting or mailing, after notice, of an advertisement or written notice in violation of this chapter. Nothing in this subsection prohibits the use of attorneys, escrow agents, abstractors, title companies, and other professional assistance as necessary to perfect or transfer this title.

(C) For the purposes of this section, a person is considered to be in the business of selling or renting dwellings if he:

(1) has, within the preceding twelve months, participated as principal in three or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest in it;

(2) has, within the preceding twelve months, participated as agent, other than in the sale of his personal residence, in providing sales or rental facilities or sales or rental services in two or more transactions involving the sale or rental of any dwelling or any interest in it; or

(3) is the owner of any dwelling designed or intended for occupancy by, or occupied by, five or more families.

(D) Nothing in this chapter prohibits a religious organization, association, or society, or any nonprofit institution or organization operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious organization, association, or society, from limiting the sale, rental, or occupancy of any dwelling which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose to persons of the same religion or from giving preference to those persons, unless membership in the religion is restricted because of race, color, or national origin. Nothing in this chapter prohibits a private club not in fact open to the public, which as an incident to its primary purpose provides lodgings which it owns or operates for other than a commercial purpose, from limiting the rental or occupancy of the lodgings to its members or from giving preference to its members.

(E) It is not unlawful under § 31-21-40(1) or (2) for any person to deny or limit the rental of housing to persons who pose a real and present threat of substantial harm to themselves, to others, or to the housing itself.

(F) Nothing in this chapter prohibits conduct against a person because the person has been convicted by any court of competent jurisdiction of the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined by law.

(G) For purposes of § 31-21-40(6), discrimination includes:

(1) a refusal to permit, at the expense of the handicapped person, reasonable modifications of existing premises occupied or to be occupied by the person if the modifications are necessary to afford that person full enjoyment of the premises, except that in the case of a rental, the landlord, where it is reasonable to do so, may condition permission for a modification on the renter agreeing to restore the interior of the premises to the condition that existed before the modification, reasonable wear and tear excepted;

(2) a refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling; or

(3) in connection with the design and construction of covered multi-family dwellings for first occupancy after the date that is thirty months after the date of enactment of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, a failure to design and construct those dwellings in such a manner that:

(a) the public use and common use portions of such dwelling are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;

(b) all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and

(c) all premises within these dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:

(i) an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

(ii) light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

(iii) reinforcements in the bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

(iv) usable kitchens and bathrooms that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

(H) Compliance with the appropriate requirements of the American National Standard for Buildings and Facilities Providing Accessibility and Usability for Physically Handicapped People (commonly cited as "ANSI A117.1") suffices to satisfy the requirements of § 31-21-70(G)(3)(c).

(1)(a) If a unit of local government has incorporated into its laws the requirements in (G)(3) of this section, compliance with these laws is considered to satisfy the requirements of that section.

(b) A unit of local government may review and approve newly constructed covered multi-family dwellings for the purpose of making determinations as to whether the design and construction requirements of (G)(3) of this section are met.

(c) The commission shall encourage, but may not require, units of local government to include in their existing procedures for the review and approval of newly constructed covered multi-family dwellings, determinations as to whether the design and construction of these dwellings are consistent with (G)(3) of this section, and shall provide technical assistance to units of local government and other persons to implement the requirements of (G)(3) of this section.

(d) Nothing in this chapter may be construed to require the commission to review or approve the plans, designs, or construction of all covered multi-family dwellings, to determine whether the design and construction of these dwellings are consistent with the requirements of (G)(3) of this section.

(I)(1) Nothing in subsection (H) may be construed to affect the authority and responsibility of the commissioner to receive and process complaints or otherwise engage in enforcement activities under this chapter.

(2) Determinations by the unit of local government under subsection (H)(1)(a) or (b) are not conclusive in enforcement proceedings under this chapter.

(J) Nothing in this chapter may be construed to invalidate or limit any law of a political subdivision of the State that requires dwellings to be designed and constructed in a manner that affords handicapped persons greater access than is required by this chapter.

(K) Nothing in this chapter requires that a dwelling be made available to an individual whose occupancy would constitute a direct threat to the health or safety of other individuals or whose occupancy would result in substantial physical damage to the property of others.

(L) Nothing in this chapter limits the applicability of any reasonable local, state, or federal restrictions regarding the maximum number of occupants permitted to occupy a dwelling. Owners and managers of dwellings may develop and implement reasonable occupancy and safety standards based on factors such as the number and size of sleeping areas or bedrooms and the overall size of a dwelling unit so long as the standards do not violate local, state, or federal restrictions. No provision in this chapter regarding familial status applies to housing for older persons. Nothing in this chapter prohibits the lease application or similar document from requiring information concerning the number, ages, sex, and familial relationship of the applicants and the dwelling’s intended occupants. The owner or manager may consider these factors in determining payment of utilities. The application also may require disclosure by the applicant of the conviction of any intended occupant for violating any laws pertaining to the illegal manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance as defined by law.

(M) The provisions of § 31-21-40 with respect to discrimination based on sex do not apply to the rental or leasing of dwellings in a single-sex dormitory property.

(N)(1) A landlord may ask a tenant or prospective tenant the following questions to determine whether an animal that is not a service animal should be deemed a reasonable accommodation:

(a) "Does the person seeking to use and live with the animal have a disability that is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities?"

(b) "Does the person seeking to use and live with the animal have a disability-related need for the animal?"

(2) Landlords may request documentation to verify the tenant’s responses to the above questions. Such documentation shall be deemed sufficient if it establishes that an individual has a disability and that the animal in question will provide some type of disability-related assistance or emotional support.