Who holds the responsibility to remediate mold in a South Carolina rental house?
South Carolina does not have laws governing mold inspection or remediation. However, current landlord-tenant laws require landlords to do whatever is reasonably necessary to maintain the premises in habitable conditions.
Since there are no laws to force the landlord to clean up the mold, South Carolina tenants must play their part to prevent its occurrence.
- Keep the property safe and habitable.
- Make all repairs for problems reported within a reasonable time.
- Keep all electrical and plumbing appliances in good working condition.
- Meet all required local housing regulations.
- Lawful evictions.
- Collect rent in agreed-upon amounts and time.
- Supply heat and both hot and cold water.
Tenant Rights And Responsibilities in South Carolina
- To live in habitable conditions.
- Timely repair for all problems you report.
- Fix all damage that is your fault.
- Pay the required amount of rent at the agreed time.
- Use provided garbage disposal receptacles.
- Ensure quiet enjoyment of the property for other neighbors.
- No retaliation from the landlord for exercising legal rights.
How Long Does A South Carolina Landlord Have To Fix Mold
In South Carolina, landlords have 14 days upon receiving notice of the presence of mold to have it repaired.
Tenants are required to allow their landlords reasonable time to fix reported problems. If the landlord does not remediate the mold within the given time, the tenant is free to vacate the house.
Additionally, if mold affects tenants’ health, landlords are required by law to cater for alternative accommodation as they remediate the mold. Tenants will continue to pay rent for their house. The landlord is allowed to remediate mold for up to 30 days.
Resource: See other states mold laws here
Mold Disclosure In South Carolina
Landlords and sellers in South Carolina must disclose the presence of mold if they are aware of its presence. Landlords and sellers can be sued for not disclosing mold infestation when they know of its presence.
It is the landlord’s responsibility to remediate mold before they lease the house to a new tenant. They must also provide mold test results to their tenants.
South Carolina also requires sellers and landlords to disclose any environmental hazards in or around the house, sewage system, material defects, and any zoning encroachments.
Federal law also requires property sellers to disclose the presence of lead paint for homes built before 1978.
Can You Break Your Rental Lease In South Carolina Due To Mold
In South Carolina and many states, tenants are legally not allowed to break the rental lease if the mold is their fault.
When tenants notice problems that can cause mold, they should report them to the landlord immediately.
Leaking pipes and taps, floods, and spills are causes of mold in the house. Report these to your landlord before they cause more problems in your unit.
Document the problems in photos and inform your landlord in writing. Also, record all the discussions and promises that the landlord offers.
Some landlords may allow tenants to break their lease if the mold affects their health. Others may require a doctor’s note as proof of health problems before allowing tenants to break the lease.
Constructive eviction is when you break your lease when the unit is no longer habitable because the landlord refused to fix the problems.
If the landlord sues you for the rest of the rent, you must prove in court that the house was uninhabitable, the mold was not your fault, and that you had notified your landlord, and they did not fix the house.
You can legally break your lease in South Carolina to start active military duty or if the landlord discriminates against you.
Can A South Carolina Tenant Withhold Rent Due To Mold
A South Carolina tenant can withhold rent to compel the landlord to fix some damage in the unit.
Additionally, if the landlord does not repair the problems after a reasonable time, the tenant can pay for the repair and deduct the costs from the rent.
Can A South Carolina Tenant Seek Justice In Court Due To Mold
In South Carolina, a tenant can sue the landlord for mold when;
- The landlord refused to fix water leaks reported before the mold appeared.
- If you have spent money in a hospital or on medication due to mold exposure.
- Lost income due to a condition caused by mold exposure.
- If you have spent any money to remediate the mold.
- For mold-related damage to your property not covered by your renters’ insurance.
- For pain and suffering caused by the health effects of mold.
- The mold presence is not your fault.