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  1. #1

    Question Notification Rights, and the Definition of "Clean"

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: South Carolina.

    I have never had any problems with my landlady until recently, however recently I have been having some. My first problem was a couple of days ago, she wanted to show the house. She called at 1:45, although we didn't answer because our cell phone was in our daughter's toy box (she likes to hide it), we listened to the message later and all it said was that she needed to show the house as soon as possible, according to the phone records she called again at 3:45 and then she showed up at 4 and proceeded to say that she was going to have to show the house no matter what condition it was in and because we didn't pick up the phone she didn't think we were home and it honestly sounded like it was an inconvenience to her that we were. I know the law clearly states that we have to have a 24 hour notice before something like that, but I decided to overlook it in this situation because honestly it wasn't worth fighting, considering I hadn't had previous problems and was moving out in a month. However, once inside she proceeded to tell me about a hole the cable company drilled through the foundation of the house. I told her that I didn't know anything about that, and I honestly didn't because frankly I didn't supervise them when they were down there. My first question is can I be held liable for that because she made it pretty clear without specifically saying it that she was trying to get a response from the cable company but if they didn't do things to her satisfaction she would hold me responsible. Can she legally hold me responsible. Also, if this does end up going to court because things are progressively going down hill, will it hurt me that I let her show the apartment with only 2 hour notice, or will it still be a violation of my rights?

    My second question is about the definition of reasonably clean. Now granted when she came over the first time, the house was cluttered, not unclean or nasty, but I have a two year old and things get sort of hectic, so there was some clutter, but it was not my definition of reasonably unclean. I mean there were some toys on the floor, books and magazines scattered on the coffee table and the kitchen table, and my office desk were in a bit of disarray because I was packing, and the bed was not maid, there were some clothes in the floor of the bedroom and the basement where the washer and dryer were because I was sorting clothes, and the rug hadn't been vacuumed or the floors swept in about a week, so there were some dust bunnies here and there, but I wouldn't call it dirty. That being said, after showing the apartment the first time she called again and said she would be showing it again on Friday, giving me 24 hour notice, so I didn't have a problem with it. However after that she said that we needed to talk about the cleanliness of the house before she showed it again, she said she saw dust bunnies and the house just looked like it needed a generally cleaning. It really made me angry because I do keep my house clean neat and organized, but I don't feel like I should have to do extra cleaning for her to re-rent the house. So I told her that I would do what I could, but I wasn't making any promises about how clean she wanted the house. Am I in the wrong here, I mean are dust bunnies and general cleaning something that I have to take care of to keep the house "reasonably clean" as stated in the law?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Notification Rights, and the Definition of "Clean"

    Here's what I'll say for the cleaning part:

    I don't believe there is any law saying that you have to have your apartment clean while it is being shown. It does help to have it clean for the landlord (even if she's being very picky in this case). In my previous apartment, I cleaned it from top to bottom before the landlord started to show it. She called me after the first showing and said how much she appreciated that I cleaned it for her. And you know what? I didn't incur any cleaning costs on my security deposit, even though I know I didn't leave the place as clean as I could.

    So, it's your call on how much you want to clean. I know it can be tough having a kid AND trying to keep a clean home!

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