I am very sorry to learn of this situation.
The security of your unit, as well as the appliances in your unit are "habitability" concerns, and you can use these to terminate your lease agreement if your landlord continues to ignore his duty to repair.
- SOUTH CAROLINA
- SC Code §27-40-440, §27-40-610
- The South Carolina Landlord must:
- · comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety
- · make all repairs and do whatever is reasonably necessary to put and keep the premises in a fit and habitable condition
- · keep all common areas of the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and, for premises containing more than four dwelling units, keep in a reasonably clean condition
- · make available running water and reasonable amounts of hot water
- · maintain in reasonably good and safe working order and condition all electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances, including elevators, supplied or required to be supplied by him
- Remedy for breach
- In the event of the failure of the landlord to fulfill his responsibilities, the tenant may, on notice, terminate the rental agreement. See §27-40-610 for details.
I generally recommend ensuring that you have developed some written records (letters or emails) to document your efforts to get the items repaired (it is not necessary, but if you are planning on doing something as drastic as claiming lease termination, you are going to want something to support it).
You can also file a small claims case in Magistrate's Court against your landlord for breach of contract (this is probably the safer route, and will allow you to recover both money damages and get a court order to repair the apartment).
Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to landlord/tenant mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.