A landlord will need access to the rental unit from time to time for maintenance, repairs, or emergencies. With some limited exceptions the landlord has a right to access in South Carolina for the reasons and during the times listed below. For repairs and maintenance it’s a good idea to leave a written notification in the unit after work is performed detailing the time and reason for entry, along with who was in the unit (e.g. landlord, contractor, maintenance staff).

Permittable purposes for landlord access:

  • Emergencies, including prospective changes in weather conditions which pose a likelihood of danger to the property.
  • For regularly scheduled periodic services such as changing furnace and air-conditioning filters; providing termite, insect, or pest treatment, and only between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Prior to making an entry the landlord announces his intent to enter to perform services.
  • For providing services requested by the tenant, and prior to entering, landlord announces landlord’s intent to enter to perform services. Only between the hours of 8:00am and 8:00pm.

It’s important to note that while the tenant shall not unreasonably withhold consent to the landlord to enter the premises for inspections, necessary or agreed repairs, improvements, showings, among other purposes, the landlord should provide at least 24 hours notice of an entry.

Exceptions

The above purposes are the landlord’s only permissible purposes for entering the rental unit. There are a few exceptions, though, where the landlord can also enter the premises:

  • Pursuant to a court order.
  • As permitted by S.C. Code Ann. §§ 27-40-720 and 27-40-730 regarding the handling of noncompliance that materially affects health, safety, or property, and as a result of abandonment by the tenant.
  • When accompanied by a law enforcement officer at reasonable times for the service of process in ejectment proceedings.
  • Abandonment.