House Hacking in Charleston, SC

8 Replies

Looking for a little help for my son who lives outside Charleston, SC. He recently purchased a 4/3 to live in with his girlfriend and her kids. They are now breaking up and he asked me about renting it out.

I am a licensed Realtor in Florida performing Property Management services, but know zilch about SC rental law. I'm thinking it would be best for him to house-hack as he could rent three rooms for $400+/month while keeping the master bedroom and being present to keep an eye on the property.

  • Is this legal in his area?
  • What are the downsides of house-hacking in this area?

I would also appreciate any suggestions as well as legal forms from anyone that has done this in SC.

Just a couple of ideas...

My nephew has had good luck renting rooms and small apartments out with Airbnb. Must go into it with eyes open though to make it works and not to get taken by some rogue person. Opportunity to meet fascinating travelers! Is the location appealing to tourists?

Years ago I successfully rented out rooms in a house I lived in near the University Washington in Seattle. I rented to medical school student doctors who came to Seattle for 3 month externship assignments. Is the location close to a hospital or university?

Marcia, Airbnb is a great idea, but my son is an airman and pretty much just sleeps there, so I don't think it would work in his case. I believe it would be easiest for him to have other Air Force personnel rent each room.

I suggested that he keylock each room (especially his own), but I'm really looking for a good "house-hacked" room lease that would help protect him and make things more "official."

The Charleston rental market is excellent.  How far is rhe property from the  AF base?  A lot depends on the neighborhood it's located in.  Reservists and Boeing represent another opportunity to rent out rooms.  My son lives there, is in the reserves and has rented out a room before.  AirBnB is an excellent option which I have done myself.  Do not under estimate the $$ to be made using that approach.  


As MaryAnn stated, the Charleston rental market is great right now.  As well as the opportunities MaryAnn mentioned, we have lots of colleges with students seeking rooms.  You can check the local Craig s List for folks seeking rooms.


While I have no experience in states outside of CA, I will say this is a very common strategy that I have both lived in and structured as a property manager.  In fact, renting out individual rooms can actually lead to a greater gross income, but be sure to structure your lease right (joint and several liability, sub-leasing provisions, move-in and move-outs, release and replenishing of security deposits, etc.).  Additionally, you have to consider the additional people will further add to and naturally accelerate the "wear and tear" of everything from carpet, to fixtures, doors, etc.  Best of luck.

Thank you all for your suggestions. I will be talking with my son about how best to proceed.

Sorry to be late to the party. 

Looking at airbnb, there are 162 listings. The average price per night is $183.26, and the vacancy rate is 54.14%. For the non urban, eastern seaboard, thats pretty good. 

If you can share more details about your son's duplex, I can tell you more about how that unit would perform. 

@Evan R. The unit is not a duplex but a 4/3 SFR. I don't think my son would make a good host, so I'm not going o recommend he Airbnb route. Thanks for the info though.

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