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L. Morgan Martin, p.A.
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Ongoing debate on short-term rentals in South Carolina

Potential legal issues concerning short-term rentals in South Carolina cover a lot of ground and this could impact issues such as premises liability and local or state control. This discussion intensifies as one gets closer to coastal communities and popular destinations, including Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

Lawmakers continue to debate the best solutions for property owners, renters and the community in general.

The case for state control

An article from News2 covered efforts by state lawmakers to pass a short-term rental bill that covered all South Carolina communities. One proposed bill would strip local jurisdictions from enacting laws to regulate short-term rentals. Some state lawmakers contend that local communities imposed restrictions that exerted too much control over property owners.

Some lawmakers on the state level believed that property owners who pay taxes should have more say in how they use their properties. These property owners would still need to follow all state regulations already in place, covering such issues as providing a safe and livable space for tenants.

The case for local control

Mayors of several municipalities argue that their representatives worked diligently to come up with restrictions that made sense for individual communities. Some argued that now resorting to one state law would wipe out years of hard work in local communities that looked to strike a reasonable balance among all parties.

The continued debate in the state could change the landscape for short-term rentals, impacting such concerns as noise, pollution, licensing and fees. Discussions involving maintenance requirements could potentially impinge on matters of premises liability for renters who become injured while on vacation. Many states wrestle with similar issues concerning short-term rentals and landlord and tenant rights.

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