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Landlord and Property Manager Responsibilities

Hello, property and potential property owners! Welcome to the RPM Distinguished Care blog, where we provide practical advice about property management! If you’re a return visitor, welcome back. We sincerely appreciate your support! RPM Distinguished Care specializes in managing successful rental properties in and around the Charleston area. We’re here to make your lives easier by giving you the resources you need to maximize profitability and have a successful rental property. We provide comprehensive property management services at every conceivable level. From advertising and marketing, to responding to applications, to inspecting and maintaining properties–there’s nothing we do not do. Further, we ensure tenant compliance, handle necessary evictions, and report directly back to you about revenue and profit potentials. We aim to make owning rental property as easy for you as possible, for as little money as possible. Check out the rest of our site to meet our team and discover what makes RPM Distinguished Care the best property management company in Charleston!


Our last article discussed commercial vs. residential rentals, including the key differences between them, regulations and codes that must be met, tax implications of these properties, and more. We touched on the pros and cons of both property types and discussed how residential rentals are a better option for beginners due to their ease of entry. Deciding between residential and commercial real estate investments is one aspect of cultivating a successful real estate portfolio. You can find out more helpful tips for creating a real estate portfolio here. If you are wondering about commercial and residential properties and investments, we encourage you to go back and read, as well as read our other blogs about rental properties!


Today, we’ll be discussing landlords, property managers, and their responsibilities. By definition, a landlord is a person who rents land, a building, or an apartment to a tenant. Property managers specialize in ensuring the rental is being operated according to guidance given by the owner, and according to state laws. In other words, while a landlord typically owns the rental property, the property managers act as on-site caretakers. Both landlords and property managers have responsibilities to ensure the safety of the property and the tenants. If you’re interested in learning about these responsibilities, you’ve come to the right place! Let’s dive right in.


Firstly, it is important that any landlord looking to rent out a property understands fair housing laws. In South Carolina, landlords are legally allowed to reject applicants due to bad credit history, negative references from past landlords, past behavior such as paying rent late, or other factors that may make a tenant unsuitable. However, a landlord cannot discriminate against tenants based on their sex, religion, race, color, national origin, age, familial status or physical or mental disability. All of these are considered “protected categories” under the South Carolina FairHousing Law of 1989. 


It is important for landlords to outline all of their expectations for the tenant and the property within the lease. This includes disclosing specific information such as anyone authorized to act on behalf of the landlord, such as a property manager or property management company. Under a federally required landlord disclosure, landlords must provide tenants information on lead-based paints or hazards within the property, if the property or building was constructed before 1978. A rental agreement should include the amount of rent to be paid, when rent is due, restrictions on illegal activity, limits on occupancy, and anything else you want to enforce. By including all essential business details within the lease, even if not required by law, you can avoid disputes down the road. A clear, well-written lease makes it easy for tenants to understand what is expected of them.


The South Carolina Landlord-Tenant Act grants landlords certain rights and obligations, regardless of what the lease says. Part of the reason for this law is “to encourage landlords and tenants to maintain and improve the quality of housing”. The law requires landlords to comply with buildings and housing codes that affect health and safety. That being said, the landlord is responsible for making repairs and doing whatever is necessary to keep the property in a liveable condition. This includes keeping common areas reasonably clean and safe, enabling running water, and keeping electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities in safe and working condition. In other words, any facility or amenity provided or required by the landlord must be kept in working condition. The law also places “an obligation of good faith” upon both parties, which is the honesty in a person’s conduct during the agreement, or contract. 


Landlords have the right to enter a dwelling unit with the consent of the tenant in order to inspect or make repairs. The tenant cannot reasonably prevent the landlord from entering for these purposes. Landlords or property managers, as disclosed in the lease agreement, may enter the property without consent of the tenant in case of emergency. Under South Carolina law, landlords must give 24-hour notice to a tenant before entering the property, and may only enter at reasonable times. 


One of the roles of a property manager is to make sure the tenants are complying with what is written in the lease. This includes enforcing the rules stated in the lease, as well as regular evaluations and inspections. Periodic inspections may include documentation and photographs to determine needed maintenance. This documentation can also assist in resolving tenant disputes that may arise in the future. Other property management duties may include tenant screening, rent collection, and accounting. Property managers can handle tenant complaints to resolve issues. Essentially, a property manager’s goal is to keep tenants happy and effectively take care of the property for the landlord. 


When looking for a property manager, you’ll want to consider your goals for your property, as well as your needs. How many properties do you own? Do you have time to treat this like a business? Do you have an understanding of rental laws? Property managers can help you determine what is best for your situation and for your property. It is also important to do research on local property managers and pick one that best suits your needs. Hire someone who has experience with the type of property you own. Ask them about their tenant screening process and make sure it is up to your standards. 


If a tenant violates the terms of the lease, landlords and property managers have the right to evict. In South Carolina, the landlord is required to give notice before an eviction, but it depends on the cause. For example, if the cause is due to a lease violation, a tenant has 14 days to cure the violation or move from the property before eviction can be filed. If the cause is due to not paying rent on time, as noted in the lease, a tenant must have a five-day notice to pay rent. Finally, if illegal activity was conducted on the premises, the landlord has the right to give an unconditional quit notice, which means that the rental agreement is being terminated and eviction can be filed immediately. It is crucial that both property managers and landlords are knowledgeable of state law when it comes to evictions. 


If you are a landlord or property owner looking for assistance in managing your property, feel free to reach out to us. RPM Distinguished Care specializes in residential property management and offers a range of services including communication, marketing, and advertising, thorough tenant screening and selection, full-service leasing, timely rent collection, regular evaluations, cost-effective and reliable maintenance, strict and compliant evictions, and comprehensive accounting. We utilize an online portal for owners to keep track of their property, including access to reports and financial statements. With over 30 years of experience, we know how to keep your property at its best. We believe in full-service and comprehensive property management. That’s why we take the time to understand each of our clients and help identify their most closely-held goals. Let us give you peace of mind that your property is in good hands. Use our website to request your free assessment and meet with our expert team! Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope to hear from you soon! See you next time!


We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

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