South Carolina General Assembly
113th Session, 1999-2000

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Bill 757

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

                    Current Status

Bill Number:                      757
Type of Legislation:              General Bill GB
Introducing Body:                 Senate
Introduced Date:                  19990422
Primary Sponsor:                  Elliott
All Sponsors:                     Elliott
Drafted Document Number:          l:\s-res\de\013vacr.whb.doc
Residing Body:                    House
Current Committee:                Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee 26 
Subject:                          Vacation Rental Act, Property


Body    Date      Action Description                     Com     Leg Involved
______  ________  ______________________________________ _______ ____________
House   19990504  Introduced, read first time,           26 HLCI
                  referred to Committee
Senate  19990429  Read third time, sent to House
Senate  19990427  Read second time, notice of
                  general amendments
Senate  19990422  Introduced, read first time,
                  placed on Calendar without reference

                             Versions of This Bill
Revised on April 22, 1999 - Word format

View additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)


April 22, 1999

S. 757

Introduced by Senator Elliott

S. Printed 4/22/99--S.

Read the first time April 22, 1999.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1.Title 27 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:


The South Carolina Vacation Rental Act

Section 27-42-10. The General Assembly finds that growth of the tourism industry in South Carolina has led to a greatly expanded market of privately owned residences which are rented to tourists from South Carolina and elsewhere for vacation, leisure, and recreational purposes. Rental activities are conducted by private owners on their own account or on their behalf by real estate companies licensed under the laws of South Carolina. These rental transactions present unique situations that are not normally found in the rental of primary residences for ninety days or more. The purpose of this act is to protect the public welfare by regulating the competing interests of tenants and landlords in such situations. This chapter may be referred to as the `South Carolina Vacation Rental Act'.

Section 27-42-20. (A) This chapter shall apply to all persons, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, associations, or other business entities acting as a landlord or otherwise engaged in the renting or managing of residential properties for a vacation rental as defined herein.

(B) This chapter shall not apply to:

(1) lodging provided by hotels, motels, tourist camps, or campgrounds subject to regulation under Title 45 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Section 27-42-30. For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions will apply:

(1) `Residential property' means any apartment, condominium, single family home, townhouse, cottage, or other property devoted to residential use or occupancy by one or more persons for a definite or indefinite period.

(2) `Vacation rental' is the lease, sublease, or other rental of residential property for a period of fewer than ninety days.

(3) `Vacation rental agreement' means a written agreement between a landlord or his rental management company, and a tenant, in which the tenant rents residential property belonging to the landlord for a vacation rental.

Section 27-42-40. (A) In every vacation rental subject to this chapter, the landlord or rental management company must use a written vacation rental agreement. No such transaction is a valid or enforceable obligation of the tenant unless the tenant has accepted a vacation rental agreement as evidenced by: (1) the tenant's signature on the rental vacation agreement; (2) the landlord or rental management company's receipt of the tenant's payment of any monies; or (3) the tenant's possession of the property.

(B) a landlord or rental management company in a vacation rental transaction shall place in a trust or escrow account conforming with the requirements of Section 40-57-135 of the 1976 Code any monies received from the tenant. The landlord or rental management company may require the tenant to pay all or part of any required rent, security deposit, or other fees in advance of the tenancy. The terms of such advanced payments, which may be non-refundable, shall be stated in the vacation rental agreement. The landlord or rental management company shall not disburse any monies from the trust or escrow account in connection with vacation rental, except as a refund to the tenant, until the tenant has accepted the vacation rental agreement, as stated above in subsection (A).

(C) Any rental management company or landlord in a vacation rental transaction who intentionally fails to use a written vacation rental agreement commits unfair trade practice in violation of Title 39, Chapter 5 of the 1976 Code. In addition, rental management companies may also be subject to discipline by the South Carolina Real Estate Commission as authorized by state law.

Section 27-42-50. (A) If, prior to a tenant's occupancy under a vacation rental agreement, the owner intends to transfer title to the property subject to a vacation rental agreement, the owner shall:

(1) disclose in writing to the grantee, prior to the acceptance of the contract of sale, the name and occupancy dates of the tenant(s); and

(2) notify in writing, within seventy-two hours after ratification of the contract for sale, the rental management company of the owner's intent to sell the subject property. Within five business days following the recordation of the grantee's interest, the grantor shall notify the rental management company in writing by certified return receipt mail, of the transfer, the grantee's name and address and the date the grantee's interest was recorded.

(B) In any transaction in which an owner transfers title to a property subject to a(n) vacation rental agreement(s) in force at the time of the recordation of the grantee's interest, the grantee shall be bound by the original terms of such vacation rental agreement including, but not limited to, the payments of any commissions and fees owed to the rental management company and shall take title subject to the rights of the tenant of such vacation rental agreement.

(C) The intentional failure of an owner to comply with this section is an unfair trade practice in violation of Title 39, Chapter 5 of the Code of Laws of South Carolina.

Section 27-42-60. If state or local authorities order a mandatory evacuation of an area that includes a property subject to a vacation rental agreement, the tenant in possession of the property shall comply with said evacuation order and upon compliance shall be entitled to a refund of the prorated rent for each day of the tenant's term that is subject to the mandatory evacuation order. Provided, however, if prior to the tenant's occupancy the landlord or his rental management company has offered the tenant insurance which would compensate the tenant for losses due to the prevention, interruption, or cessation of the vacation rental due to a mandatory order, then the tenant shall not be entitled to the refund provided for in this subsection.

Section 27-42-70. The governing body of each county, municipality, school district, or special purpose district may not ban or prohibit vacation rentals as defined in this section, unless the General Assembly has expressly authorized by general law the prohibition."

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.


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