DIY Landlord Tip of the Week: Legal Compliance

You’ve got a rental property. You’re prepared to fix closet doors and know a good plumber to call in an emergency. Think you are ready to sit back and watch your rental investment grow? There is more to being a landlord than just collecting rent and handling minor repairs. Do-it-Yourself (DIY) landlords also have legal responsibilities—from complying with fair housing laws to collecting and returning security deposits.  

Being a landlord is tough—use these resources to help make the job easier and keep yourself protected. 

Comply with Federal Fair Housing Laws

Federal fair housing laws are covered under the Fair Housing Act and apply to rental advertising, applications and screening interviews, and interaction with tenants.

ResourceThe Department of Housing and Urban Development provides a full list of activities prohibited in the rental of housing by the Fair Housing Act.

The Fair Housing Act does provide an exemption—sometimes called “Mrs. Murphy’s exemption”—for owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family housing sold or rented without the use of a broker, and housing operated by organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.

Even if you meet this exemption, it is still against the law to advertise or make any statement that indicates a limitation or preference tenants based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap.

South Carolina has its own set of fair housing laws, available for review at these resources:

Resource: Fair Housing Law, South Carolina Code of Laws

Resource: Summary of the Fair Housing Law, SC Human Affairs Commission

Understand and follow South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Laws

The South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Act places certain duties and grants certain rights to residential landlords. Professional property management companies use the Landlord-Tenant Act as a reference guide for all property management decisions.

ResourceThe South Carolina Bar offers an excellent recap of the Landlord-Tenant Act for quick reference in the Rights and duties of landlord.

Resource: Nolo.com provides an Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in South Carolinathat covers Security Deposits, Required Disclosures, Small Claims Lawsuits, Rent Rules and more.

If you need additional resources for legal compliance or information on how the Charleston Property Company can help you better manage your rental investment, please call our team at 843.737.6034.

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