Residential Rental Registry

On October 12, 2020, the City of Florence adopted a Residential Rental Registration Ordinance (Ordinance No. 2020-35), which establishes a rental registry for all single-family and multi-family rental properties within municipal limits and concurs with the South Carolina Landlord and Tenant Act. This ordinance encourages landlords and tenants to maintain habitable housing, establishes clear lines of communication between the City and property owners and managers, and functions in concert with the City of Florence Comprehensive Plan and Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. 

All property owners, whether a person, firm, corporation, or other form of legal entity, that operates residential rental unit(s) within the municipal limits of the City of Florence are required to obtain a rental permit by July 1 of each year. The annual permit period runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year. Rental permits will be issued by the Planning Department, and one of two application types may apply: 

  1.  An Individual Application is for a property owner who owns up to four (4) residential rental units in their own name. A checklist is required for each unit, and the application fee is $25.00. The individual rental permits are to be renewed annually for a $25.00 fee.
  2. A Business Application is for property owners who own five (5) or more residential rental units in their own name, or for any number of residential rental units owned by a legal business entity such as an LLC.  A completed rental unit checklist per unit is not required; however, property owners or managers will need to attest that the units are habitable. The application fee is $25.00 for the initial permit application, and the property owner is required to obtain a business license. Subsequent rental permit renewals will not require an annual permit fee; however, the property owner must renew their business license with the City of Florence annually. 

Please see our frequently asked questions below for additional information.

I own or manage residential rental property within the municipal limits of the City of Florence, do I need a permit?

Yes. If you own residential rental property within the municipal limits of the City of Florence, you or your property manager are required to obtain a rental permit in order to rent those properties to tenants. The type of application you need to complete can be determined using this chart.

Who can apply for a residential rental permit?

Either the owner of the property or a responsible representative/manager can apply for a rental permit. Any outstanding fees owed to the City of Florence must be paid prior to the issuance of the permit.

When can I apply for a rental permit?

Applications are available now, and are required by July 1. You can apply for your permit(s) Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the City Center (324 W. Evans Street, Florence, SC 29501).

How long is the permit valid?

The permitting year runs from July 1 through June 30 the following year. All rental permits expire on June 30 regardless of the month that it was issued. No registration fees will be prorated or refunded.

I have a business license; do I still need a rental permit?

Yes. A rental permit is required for all residential rental units located in the City of Florence even if you have a business license as a landlord and/or are a licensed professional management company. If you have a business license, the $25 per application fee is only required the first year that your properties are added to the registry. The $25 application fee is waived for all renewals, but business licenses must be renewed and an updated list of properties must be provided. Note that a business license is required for anyone who owns five (5) or more rental units and any legal business entity that holds residential rental property units regardless of the number of units rented.

A family member lives in my rental unit; do I still need a permit?

Yes. If any person is paying rent, utilities or other fees, or similar in-kind services to the owner of the property, a rental permit is required. The property owner may request a waiver application certifying that they are allowing a family member to live in their unit.

What happens to my permit if I change tenants during the year?

If your tenant moves out and is replaced by a new tenant during the year, you will not need to apply for a new rental permit. Your permit will remain current, and you will simply need to renew it once it expires.

What if I have more than one rental unit?

A residential rental permit is required for each rental unit. The applications are designed to allow you to apply for as many permits as needed on one application form. Owners of  five (5) or more rental units may obtain one (1) permit for all rental units owned.  A property list of all owned units is required to be submitted and kept up to date.

If I purchase a rental property with a tenant already in it, will I need a new permit?

Yes. Permits are not transferrable from one property owner to another. You will be required to obtain a new rental permit in your name.

Will the City of Florence inspect my rental unit(s) prior to my eligibility to obtain a rental permit?

While a formal codes inspection is not required, owners and/or responsible local representatives will be asked to confirm that the residential rental unit(s) meet applicable codes through a provided checklist or rental checklist affidavit. The City of Florence can provide an initial inspection at no cost upon the request of the property owner, local representative, or tenant. If you would like to schedule an initial inspection of your rental unit(s), please contact the City of Florence Codes Enforcement Unit at 843-665-3191.

What happens if my property fails inspection?

No rental permit will be issued until the property passes inspection. Properties that fail to pass an inspection must correct all defects noted on the inspection report and schedule a follow-up inspection of the property with the City of Florence. An inspection fee of $25 shall be included in the permit fee for properties that fail to pass inspection after the third inspection attempt.

Will the City of Florence impose new codes or requirements on my residential rental unit(s)?

The City of Florence will only apply existing codes that are currently adopted by the City of Florence to the residential rental unit(s) in the City of Florence.

If I have a unit that does not meet applicable codes, is there a penalty?

All residential rental units must meet the minimum standards outlined within the adopted codes of the City of Florence. If the unit does not meet applicable codes, a rental permit will not be issued, or the rental permit is subject to being revoked.

If it is found that a unit does not meet the minimum code, the owner and/or the responsible representative will be notified and issued a Notice of Violation. The Notice of Violation will give the owner and/or responsible representative the time and the opportunity to correct the violation and bring the unit(s) into compliance. If the owner and/or representative does not make the required correction(s), the Building Official, or its designee, may refer the matter to the City Manager with a recommendation that the rental permit be revoked.

Can a rental permit for a residential rental unit(s) be revoked or denied?


A rental permit can be denied if it is determined that the property does not meet zoning regulations, fails to meet checklist requirements, or has an outstanding violation.

A rental permit can be revoked in the event that an owner and/or responsible local representative fails to correct a violation after notice. 

Do I need to get a business license to operate my residential rental unit(s)?

If you are an individual that owns one (1) to four (4) residential rental units in your own name, you do not need to obtain a business license.

If you are an individual who owns five (5) or more residential rental units, or at least one unit is owned by a legal business entity such as an LLC, a business license is required. The owner will pay the business license fee based upon the individual gross income from the rental of the residential rental unit(s).

Is there a grace period?

The City of Florence offers a 60 day grace period to obtain the required rental permit(s) prior to any enforcement action. The grace period ends on August 30. Renewals of rental permits after 60 days will be assessed a late penalty fee of $10 per month, for the initial and all subsequent months.

If the permit is not obtained or renewed after 120 days, the City will charge the owner with a Notice of Violation and a subsequent summons to municipal court.

Phone Number:
(843) 665-2047
324 West Evans Street, Suite 200, Florence, SC 29501
Hours of Operation:
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday

For additional information or to request an application, please email