South Dakota Landlord-Tenant Law

With a low cost of living but a high quality of life, South Dakota is a great place to live and invest in real estate. South Dakota boasts beautiful outdoor spaces for locals to enjoy, along with a thriving economy. With people looking to leave large cities for more rural communities, South Dakota is a great option for rental investments.

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Laws that impact the rental market, landlords, and tenants are constantly being decided in states. Make sure you know what’s on your ballot – find South Dakota voting information.

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South Dakota Renters’ Rights and Landlord Responsibilities

  • Required to return security deposit within two weeks
  • Must make repairs in a timely manner
  • Must give a 30-day notice before raising rent
  • Needs to give a 24-hour notice before entering

When it comes to South Dakota rental laws, there are a few specifics landlords need to know:

  1. Security Deposits – Landlords must return security deposits within two weeks of their tenant moving out. The maximum amount a landlord may charge for the security deposit is the equivalent of one month’s rent.
  2. Repairs – Landlords must keep the units fit for habitation. They are also required to make repairs within a timely manner, although state law doesn’t give a specific time frame. If the landlord fails to make repairs, in some instances tenants may withhold rent or make the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from their next rent payment.
  3. Raising Rent – Landlords may raise the rent by however much they deem necessary, however, they must give their tenants 30-day notice before doing so.
  4. Notice of Entry – Landlords are required to give their tenants a 24-hour notice before entering the property unless it is an emergency.

South Dakota Landlords’ Rights and Tenant Responsibilities

  • No legal limit on late fees
  • Tenant must maintain the property
  • Tenants have three days to pay rent after they receive a written notice
  • Must give a month’s notice before terminating a lease

  1. Late Fees – South Dakota does not place a limit on what landlords can charge for late fees. The fee for returned checks maxes out at $30.
  2. Tenant Responsibilities – Tenants are responsible for making minor repairs and keeping the unit in safe and clean condition.
  3. Overdue Rent – If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may supply them with a notice that gives them three days to pay the rent. After these three days, the landlord may file for eviction.
  4. Lease Termination – If a tenant decides to terminate their lease for a month-to-month lease, they must supply the landlord with a 30-day notice.

Rental Application Fees

There is no cap on application fees in South Dakota.

Criminal Background Check

  • HUD (Federal) laws do not classify criminal backgrounds as a protected class, but making a decision to rent based off a criminal background alone could lead to a discrimination charge as it impacts certain protected groups of people disproportionately.
    • However, if the criminal background check revealed a crime for the manufacture and distribution of drugs, homicide and/or stalking, denying the application is allowed.
  • Landlords should have a consistent and equal policy or procedure in place to follow regarding criminal background checks so as not to discriminate against one class of people over another.
  • HUD states that a landlord cannot ask about arrest records, only convictions, as innocent people are commonly arrested though the situation may not have resulted in a conviction.
  • Some municipalities may have written their own laws expanding onto what you can and cannot ask regarding criminal backgrounds during the tenant screening process.

Required Lease Disclosures

Landlords must disclose whether the property has ever been used to manufacture methamphetamine.

South Dakota Lease Agreement Sample

There are three sections to a residential lease agreement. The first section outlines the custom details of the contract, such as who’s involved and for what address. Here’s an example South Dakota lease agreement listing details found in Section 1:

South Dakota lease agreement sample

South Dakota Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ

Below are answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to landlord-tenant laws in South Dakota:

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Can You Withhold Rent in South Dakota?

Yes, tenants can withhold rent in South Dakota if landlords have failed to fix serious problems that break the warranty of habitability and if the costs to fix the issue total more than one month’s rent. South Dakota tenants also have the right to repair the issues themselves and reduce the cost from their next rent payment under the repair and deduct law. Check local laws for any specifications on withholding rent.

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in South Dakota?

Evicting a tenant in South Dakota can take anywhere from five weeks to three months depending on the reason for eviction.

Is South Dakota a Landlord-Friendly State?

Yes, South Dakota is a landlord-friendly state. With no limits on rent or late fees and no time requirement to make repairs, South Dakota is one of the more landlord-friendly states.

What is the Eviction Process in South Dakota?

There are five reasons a landlord may evict their tenant in South Dakota. Failure to pay rent, violation of the lease, end of a lease term, sale of a rental unit, or falsely claiming to need a service animal. Rent in South Dakota is considered late after three days have passed since the due date. After these three days, the landlord may serve the tenant with a notice to pay, which gives the tenant three days to cure their violation. If the tenant does not cure their violation and remains in the property, then the landlord may file an eviction.

Filing an eviction costs $70 and summons must be served to the tenant within 30 days of being filed. Tenants must then file an answer within four days of being served or 30 days if they were served by publishing in the newspaper. The court hearing may then be scheduled as soon as two days after the answer is filed.

If the judge rules in the landlord’s favor, the court will issue an Execution for Possession which can be issued anywhere from a few hours to a few days. South Dakota law doesn’t specify how quickly the tenant must move out after being served an Execution for Possession.

How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give a Tenant to Move Out in South Dakota?

For a week-to-week tenancy, landlords must give a seven-day notice before requiring a tenant to move out. For month-to-month leases, the landlord must notify their tenant 30 days in advance, and for a year-to-year lease, the length of time must be agreed upon in the lease.

Due Diligence and South Dakota Rental Laws

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TurboTenant has utilized many municipal sources along with official state statutes in order to compile this information to the best of our ability. However, local laws are always in flux, and landlords and tenants alike should be sure to do their due diligence and consult legal help when it’s needed. We hope the following list can serve as a valuable resource and allow you to succeed as a landlord or tenant in South Dakota. Be sure to take proper precautions when it comes to finding the top candidates for your unit by utilizing our online rental application and tenant screening services.

Disclaimer: TurboTenant, Inc does not provide legal advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. All users are advised to check all applicable local, state, and federal laws and consult legal counsel should questions arise.

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