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COVID-19 Information for South Carolina

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

State and Local Affiliates

Please remember to use your state or local apartment association as the primary resource for the most up-to-date information on your responsibilities. Find your local affiliate.

State Legal and Regulatory Information

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws and other policy issues.

Shelter in Place

Governor McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-36 on Friday, May 15, 2020 that authorizes the following businesses, venues, facilities, services, and activities – which were previously deemed “non-essential” – to re-open effective Monday, May 18, 2020.

Governor McMaster issued Executive Order No. 2020-37 on Thursday, May 21, 2020 that authorizers businesses, venues, facilities, services and activities – which were previously deemed “non-essential”– to reopen effective Friday, May 22, 2020.

State of Emergency

Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on March 13, 2020. 

Eviction

Court Order

  • Action: South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty, on March 17, 2020, halted all evictions statewide, with the exception of cases involving “harm to person or property” until May 15, 2020.
  • Scope: Order delays eviction proceedings.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

No statewide emergency rental assistance for South Carolina.

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. Local rent regulation is preempted by South Carolina Code of Laws Title 27 - Property and Conveyances Chapter 39 - Rent Section 27-39-60.

 Price-Gouging Law

Under South Carolina Code § 39.5.145, it is unlawful to sell or rent a commodity, including a dwelling unit, at an unconscionable price during a declaration of emergency. Unconscionable pricing is determined if there is a gross disparity between the rent or price of a good, service, or dwelling and its rent or price 30 days prior to the declaration of emergency. The language of this statute holds until the termination of the emergency.