Greenville County
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Human Relations
Fair Housing
2005 Fair Housing Proclamations
Fair Housing Impediments Studies

The County of Greenville and its municipalities (among these, most notably is the City of Greenville) through policy, programs and practices, supports and promotes the objective of fair housing in Greenville County. Both Greenville City and County (through its Redevelopment Authority) have certified that they will affirmatively further fair housing as a condition of receiving federal funds.
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Fair Housing

South Carolina Fair Housing Law makes it unlawful to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

The Fair Housing Law Covers:

  • Apartments
  • Condominiums
  • Private Homes
  • Special Housing

It applies to the activities and practices of homeowners, builders and developers, apartment and condominium owners and managers, real estate agencies, and home mortgage lenders.

Exception: Housing in which the owner lives and rents no more than two units.

If you believe you have been discriminated against:

  • File a complaint within 180 days of the alleged discrimination.
  • Record your experience, write down the names of individuals involved, all significant conversation, and any incidents that might indicate discrimination.
  • Keep copies of letters or other relevant information.
  • Call our office to file a complaint at 864.467.7095.

Fair Housing Poster

Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) Grant

The Equal Greenville Housing Opportunities (EGHO) Program began April 1, 2003 with $85,936 in funding provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) grant. This program focuses on: outreach to affected populations (including minorities and immigrants), education and outreach to the general public, and promoting the understanding that fair housing is everyone’s business. Read about

Equal Housing Opportunity

Buying or Renting, your rights are protected by law in South Carolina.

Discrimination against handicapped persons and families with children is prohibited by law. State law defines handicap as a physical, mental, or emotional disability which substantially limits one or more of the major life activities and to which reasonable accommodations can be made.

Some examples of handicaps are: heart disease; cancer; diabetes; epilepsy; emotional illness; mental retardation; learning disabilities; visual, hearing or speech impairment; paralysis; loss of limbs; cosmetic disfigurement; former drug dependency; and controlled alcoholism.

For a presentation on Housing Accommodations for Disabilities, click here.

Familial Status

"Familial Status" means one or more individuals who have not attained the age of eighteen years and are with: A parent or another person having legal custody of the individual; or

The designee of the parent or another person having custody with the written permission of the parent or other person. The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status apply to any person who is pregnant or in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of eighteen years.

Toll-Free Hotline for Fair Housing Assistance

If you feel your rights have been violated, and for information and instructions on how to file a complaint call the Greenville County Human Relations Commission’s local Housing Discrimination Hotline at 1.866.495.3918.

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Landlord and Tenant Law in South Carolina

The law protects house, apartments, and room renters and their landlords. If you live in government assisted housing, you have additional rights to what is found in the landlord and tenant law of South Carolina.

  • The law does not apply to commercial and public housing tenants.
  • The law requires landlords to comply with local building codes.
  • Retaliation against a tenant who complains to the government agency responsible for Code enforcement is prohibited.
  • Most landlord/tenant disputes are settled through magistrates.
  • Rent should be paid during disputes.
  • Amounts deducted from security deposits must be itemized in writing. Also, there are no limitations on security deposits.
  • There is no rent control.
  • He who receives rent money is obligated as a land lord.
  • All oral or written agreements to rent are considered leases.
  • The rental agreement should include:
    1. The amount of rent to be paid.
    2. The date payment is due.
    3. The rights and obligations of both parties.
  • Landlords have defined maintenance obligations. Then tenant should give the landlord written notice of problems and the landlord must begin making repairs within 14 days thereafter.
  • The tenant has obligations to maintain the property.
  • The landlord must contact the Magistrate Court in order to evict you.
  • The magistrate will issue a Rule to Show Cause. After you receive the Rule, you will have 10 days to immediately answer the magistrate.
  • Your landlord cannot evict you himself by changing door locks or cutting off lights or water.

Questions and Answers Booklet

Education - How much do we know?

An educational report on Public Awareness of the Nation’s Fair Housing Laws prepared for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research.

Public awareness of federal fair housing laws is important to ensuring equal opportunity in housing. However, there is little national documentation of the extent of such awareness. This report attempts to redress this situation by setting forth the results of a systematic survey of the American public on its understanding of the Federal Fair Housing Act. Read More

Complaints & Investigations

Complaints may be filed by any aggrieved individual or group of individuals, or The Human Relations Commission. The complaint may include a charge of pattern as well as individual practices of discrimination.

The Human Relations Commission accepts complaints of violation of the local, state, and federal laws which define discriminatory practices in:

  • Employment because of race, religion, sex, origin, handicap, and certain ages.
  • Housing because of race, religion, sex, color, national origin, handicap, or familial status.
  • Public accommodations and services open to the public, because of race, religion, national origin, or handicap.
  • Education-- Denial of education because of race, religion, sex, national origin, or handicap.
  • The Commission monitors issues of moral conflict, reassignments, political pressures, and zoning practices.
  • Landlord/Tenant Disputes-- The Residential S.C. Landlord/Tenant Law of 1986 sets out rights and duties of both landlord and the tenant. The Commission staff is specifically trained to receive complaints and provide education in landlord/tenant rights and duties.
  • Predatory loans or practices on any person or persons

For more information or to download a Fair Housing Discrimination Complaint Form, refer to the section titled Fair Housing on this page.